Plasma sphingolipids and depressive symptoms in coronary artery disease

Adam Dinoff, Mahwesh Saleem, Nathan Herrmann, Michelle M. Mielke, Paul I. Oh, Swarajya Lakshmi Vattem Venkata, Norman J. Haughey, Krista L. Lanctôt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Depression is highly prevalent in individuals with coronary artery disease (CAD) and increases the risk of future cardiac events and mortality. Sphingolipids have been implicated in the pathophysiology of both CAD and depression. This study assessed the association between plasma sphingolipid concentrations and depressive symptoms in CAD subjects. Methods: Depressive symptoms were measured using the depression subscale of the self-reported Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Sphingolipid concentrations were measured from fasting plasma samples using high-performance liquid chromatography-coupled electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Linear regression models were used to assess associations between log-transformed concentrations of plasma sphingolipids and depressive symptoms. Results: A total of 111 CAD patients (mean (SD) age = 63.6 ± 6.4, 84.7% male) were included. In linear regression analyses, higher plasma concentrations of ceramides C16:0 (β = 0.204, p =.026) and C18:0 (β = 0.209, p =.023) and sphingomyelin SM18:1 (β = 0.210, p =.024) were significantly associated with higher HADS depression subscale score after adjusting for covariates. Conclusion: Sphingolipids, in particular the ceramide species C16:0 and C18:0 and the sphingomyelin species SM18:1, may be implicated in the pathophysiology of depression in CAD. The association between plasma sphingolipid concentrations and depression should be further examined in CAD patients and in other populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00836
JournalBrain and behavior
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • coronary artery disease
  • depressive symptoms
  • sphingolipid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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