Taurine and Glutathione in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma from patients with psychiatric disorders and healthy controls

University dissertation from Linköping : Linköping University Electronic Press

Abstract: A growing body of results indicate that immunological alterations and oxidative stress are of importance in various mental disorders. The inflammatory changes are possible to detect both in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and different psychiatric disorder exhibit similar changes indicating a common underlying mechanism. The antioxidants are of importance to regulate the redox balance and control the inflammatory processes but the causal relationship between psychiatric disorders and increased oxidative stress is however not fully clarified. Two important antioxidants; taurine and glutathione (GSH), have been suggested to have central nervous system (CNS)-protective properties. They have been found to fluctuate in several mental disorders including schizophrenia and depression but the clinical relevance need further studies.The general aim of this thesis was to increase the understanding of taurine and the GSH in depression and schizophrenia, two major mental disorders, in comparison to healthy controls.Correlations between glutathione and taurine levels in blood and CSF were analyzed in healthy male volunteers and we identified a complex pattern of associations showing that the CSF concentration was influenced by body mass index (BMI), age, intraspinal pressure, plasma concentrations the previous day and possible genetic factors. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is used in the treatment of severely depressed patients. In blood collected before the first and after the third ECT, we found a significant decrease in plasma taurine in patients responding to the treatment, while total glutathione was unaltered. In a group of olanzapine treated patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders, we analysed taurine and glutathione in plasma and CSF and compared with healthy male and female volunteers. We observed increased plasma taurine levels in patients compared with controls, but no difference in CSF taurine and no alteration in glutathione.This thesis indicates that taurine might play a role in mental disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. Increased knowledge about the complex regulation of taurine and glutathione might provide new insights into the impact of redox balance in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorder and contribute to a future personalization of the treatment.