Elevated plasma nitrate levels in depressive states

Eiji Suzuki, Gohei Yagi, Toshio Nakaki, Shigenobu Kanba, Masahiro Asai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

212 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Previous studies have shown that nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitors show preclinical antidepressant-like properties, suggesting that NO is involved in the pathogenesis of depression. The purpose of this study is to examine whether or not NO production increases in depressed patients. Methods: Plasma nitrate concentrations, an index of NO production, were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography in depressed patients (n = 17) and compared with patients suffering anxiety (n = 6) and with healthy controls (n = 12). Results: Plasma nitrate concentrations were significantly higher in depressed patients than in patients with an anxiety disorder (P < 0.05) or in controls (P < 0.01). Limitations: The study group was small. The source of the surplus production of NO in patients with major depressive episode remains unclear. Conclusions: These results suggest that NO production is increased in depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-224
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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