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Low Serum Allopregnanolone Is Associated with Symptoms of Depression in Late Pregnancy
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
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2014 (English)In: Neuropsychobiology, ISSN 0302-282X, E-ISSN 1423-0224, Vol. 69, no 3, 147-153 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Allopregnanolone (3 alpha-hydroxy-5 alpha-pregnan-20-one) is a neurosteroid which has an inhibitory function through interaction with the GABA(A) receptor. This progesterone metabolite has strong sedative and anxiolytic properties, and low endogenous levels have been associated with depressed mood. This study aimed to investigate whether the very high serum allopregnanolone levels in late pregnancy covary with concurrent self-rated symptoms of depression and anxiety. Methods: Ninety-six women in pregnancy weeks 37-40 rated symptoms of depression and anxiety with the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS-S) and Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Their serum allopregnanolone was analyzed by Celite chromatography and radioinnmunoassay. Results: Ten women had elevated depression scores (MADRS-S >= 13), and this group had significantly lower allopregnanolone levels compared to women with MADRS-S scores in the normal range (39.0 +/- 17.9 vs. 54.6 +/- 18.7 nmol/l, p = 0.014). A significant negative correlation was found between self-rated depression scores and allopregnanolone concentrations (Pearson's correlation coefficient = -0.220, p = 0.031). The linear association between self-rated depression scores and allopregnanolone serum concentrations remained significant when adjusted for gestational length, progesterone levels, and parity. Self-rated anxiety, however, was not associated with allopregnanolone serum concentrations during pregnancy. Conclusion: High allopregnanolone serum concentrations may protect against depressed mood during pregnancy. (C) 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 69, no 3, 147-153 p.
Keyword [en]
Allopregnanolone, Anxiety, Depression, Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale, Pregnancy, Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-91164DOI: 10.1159/000358838ISI: 000337267300003OAI: diva2:734322
Available from: 2014-07-16 Created: 2014-07-15 Last updated: 2014-07-16Bibliographically approved

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