Depression is a neuroprogressive disorder that is characterized by neurotransmitter derangement and decreased neurogenesis and neurotrophic factors including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
To determine the lipid profiles and BDNF levels in university students at an institution in Iran and association of these factors with Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scores.
We conducted an observational study of a cross-section of male students at the Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences in Iran. For each of the 100 participants, a BDI score was obtained and serum levels of BDNF were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Levels of serum lipids, including cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), were measured using a biochemical analyzer. Castelli’s risk index type I (CRI-I), Castelli’s risk index type II (CRI-II), CRI-I = TG/HDL-C and CRI-II = LDL-cholesterol/ HDL-cholesterol, and atherogenic index of plasma (AIP), AIP = log (triglycerides/HDL-cholesterol), were calculated.
Based on BDI scores, lower levels of BDNF, triglycerides, cholesterol, and HDL, but higher levels of LDL were found in participants with higher BDI scores. CRI-I was also increased in participants with depression.
The levels of BDNF and lipid factors are associated with the severity of depression in Iranian male university students. Deranged levels of BDNF and lipids may predispose depressed students to cardiovascular diseases.