Background: Patients with bipolar disorder are at high risk of metabolic disturbance after mood stabilizer treatment. However, the mediators linking the two conditions remain unknown. In this study, we investigated whether fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF21) was associated with metabolic effects and treatment response in depressed bipolar disorder patients. Methods: We recruited 78 community-dwelling controls and 137 bipolar disorder patients; the latter were interviewed using the Chinese Version of the Modified Schedule of Affective Disorder and Schizophrenia-Life Time. Upon study entry, the bipolar disorder patients were all in a major depressive status, with 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) scores >15. They received valproate (500-1000 mg daily) for 12 weeks, and fluoxetine 20 mg daily was permitted to treat depressive symptoms. Fasting plasma level of FGF21, lipid profiles, and body weight were collected at baseline and after 12 weeks of treatment. Results: At baseline, the demographic characteristics, FGF21 level, and metabolic indices did not differ significantly between the controls and bipolar disorder patients. After 12 weeks of treatment, the FGF21 level (167.7 ± 122.0 to 207.1 ± 162.3 pg/ mL, P = .001), body weight and waist circumference had increased significantly (P < .001 and P = .028, respectively). Moreover, the change in FGF21 level was significantly correlated with the changes in HDRS score (r = 0.393, P = .002), total cholesterol (r = -0.344, P = .008), and low-density lipoprotein (r = -0.347, P = .007). Conclusions: The central and peripheral mediating effects of FGF21 on bipolar disorder depression treatment might be opposite. High peripheral FGF21 levels might link regulation of metabolic effect and resistance to treatment in bipolar disorder.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes