Exploring the Link Between Depression and Cholesterol-lowering Medications


Long-term use of statin medications may sometimes result in symptoms of depression and anxiety because of the drug's impact on serotonin.

Researchers from the American Chemical Society (ACS), led by Amitabha Chattopadhyay, department of cell biology at the Scripps Research Institute, have discovered a possible explanation for the symptoms of depression and anxiety that sometimes occur in patients taking the statin family of anti-cholesterol drugs and in patients on low-cholesterol diets.

Using the medication mevastatin, the researchers found that long-term use of the drug resulted in significant changes in the structure and function of serotonin cell receptors. In the ACS journal Biochemistry, the team wrote that “a significant reduction in the level of specific ligand binding and G-protein coupling to serotonin1A receptors upon chronic cholesterol depletion” was observed during the study. When cells expressing serotonin1A were treated with mevastatin, it led to a “decrease in the diffusion coefficient and an increase in the mobile fraction of the receptor, as determined by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching measurements.” The team then replenished the mevastatin-treated cells with cholesterol, which “resulted in the recovery of specific ligand binding and G-protein coupling.”

According to the team, this study is the first to describe “the effect of long-term cholesterol depletion on this type of cell receptor, and suggest that chronic, low cholesterol levels in the brain might trigger anxiety and depression,” although they do note that the results “assume significance in view of recent reports highlighting the symptoms of anxiety and depression in humans upon statin administration, and the role of serotonin1A receptors in anxiety and depression.”

Related Videos
A panel of 5 cardiovascular experts
Bhanu Prakash Kolla, MBBS, MD: Treating Sleep with Psychiatric Illness
Video 5 - "Real-World Insights: Navigating Cardiac Myosin inhibitors in Practice" - Featuring 1 KOL
A panel of 5 cardiovascular experts
A panel of 5 cardiovascular experts
Awaiting FDA Decision on MDMA Assisted Therapy, with Bessel van der Kolk, MD
Bessel van der Kolk, MD: The Future of MDMA Assisted Therapy in PTSD
Bessel van der Kolk, MD: What MDMA-Assisted Therapy Taught us About PTSD
Video 4 - "Mavacamten in oHCM: Navigating the REMS Program for Safe, Optimal Outcomes "
Video 3 - "Aligning With 2023 ESC Guidelines in oHCM Treatment"
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.