This Article is From Mar 22, 2023

Researchers Identify An Enzyme As The Cause Of Depression

According to the study, women are roughly twice as likely as males to experience depression.

Researchers Identify An Enzyme As The Cause Of Depression

Researchers find a source of depression linked to a single enzyme

Depression, a global problem, is a leading cause of mental disorders. Anxiety, loss of interest, low energy, poor attention, and poor sleep are some of this disorder's symptoms. The cause and treatment of this mental condition have been the focus of research, and occasionally some answers have been found.

A single enzyme may be to blame for depression in some women during their reproductive years, according to new research by Wuhan University medical researcher Di Li and colleagues.

According to the research, the decline of estradiol, an estrogen steroid hormone and the major female sex hormone, can lead to depressive symptoms in women.

Estradiol is important for supporting a healthy mood.

In this study, experts isolated estradiol-degrading Klebsiella aerogenes from the feces of premenopausal females with depression. In mice, gavage with this strain led to estradiol decline and depression-like behaviors.

The Science Alert reported that to isolate the microbe responsible, Li and the team placed samples of the microbiome from the women with depression onto an agar plate and provided them with estradiol as their only food source. Two hours later, over 60 percent of the estradiol was degraded into estrone.

White blobs with smooth, hazy edges thrived, and using mass spectrometry, the researchers identified the microbe, a strain of bacteria they labeled Klebsiella aerogenes TS2020.

"These results show that K. aerogenes TS2020 can reduce the serum estradiol level in mice and induce depressive-like behaviors," the researchers explain in their paper. "Additionally, cefotaxime administration can alleviate such depressive-like behaviors in mice."

These results suggest that the estradiol-degrading bacteria and 3-HSD enzymes are potential intervention targets for depression treatment in premenopausal women.