Comparison of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) serum levels following ketamine and esketamine intervention for treatment-resistant depression

Published: 14 April 2020| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/3rbpmwxrm5.1
Gustavo Leal,


Data from a randomized, double-blinded clinical trial that analyzed the impact of ketamine (0.5 mg/kg, N= 27) and esketamine (0.25 mg/kg, N= 26) in BDNF serum levels in participants with treatment-resistant depression (TRD). A total of 53 participants were enrolled, Depression severity was assessed before drug administration, at 24 hours, at 72 hours and 7 days after the intervention, using the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Blood samples for BDNF assessments were collected before infusion, at 24 hours and 7 days afterwards. No significant differences between the two drugs were found, neither for efficacy nor for impact of BDNF levels. Also BDNF levels didn't seem to predict treatment response. Results suggest that BDNF at 24 hours and 7 days after treatment may not be suitable for a biomarker in the treatment of depression with esketamine or ketamine .


Steps to reproduce

The intervention consisted of a single intravenous infusion of either 0.5 mg/kg of ketamine racemate (ketamine hydrochloride), or 0.25mg/kg of esketamine (S(+)-ketamine or dextroketamine hydrochloride). Both drugs were diluted in 100ml of saline solution and administered intravenously for 40 minutes. All blood collections occurred in the afternoon. At baseline assessment, participants fasted for at least 4 hours before blood collection (required for safe administration of the study drug), but a fasting period was not standardized for the following time points. Blood samples were collected in separation gel tubes, centrifuged at 3,000 rpm for 10 minutes to obtain serum, and then aliquoted and stored at -70 ° C. BDNF concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA by DuoSet; R&D Systems) following the manufacturer's instructions. Absorbance was read through the Multiskan FC plate reader (Thermo Fischer Scientific Inc., USA) at 450 nm. The results are expressed in pg / ml.


Universidade Federal da Bahia


Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, Depression, Biomarkers, Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Ketamine