Disturbed glucose disposal in patients with major depression; application of the glucose clamp technique

Ulrich Schweiger*, Wiebke Greggersen, Sebastian Rudolf, Matthias Pusch, Tilmann Menzel, Sebastian Winn, Jan Hassfurth, Eva Fassbinder, Kai G. Kahl, Kerstin M. Oltmanns, Fritz Hohagen, Achim Peters

*Corresponding author for this work
33 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To assess the whole-body glucose disposal in patients with both typical and atypical depression and to characterize the neuroendocrine responses during a hyper-, eu-, hypoglycemic stepwise clamp experiment in patients with both subtypes of major depression. Depressive disorders and alterations in glucose metabolism are closely associated. The glucose clamp technique is considered to be the "gold standard" for the assessment of whole-body glucose disposal. METHODS: We studied 19 patients with typical major depressive disorder (MDD), 7 patients with atypical major depression, and 30 men and women of a healthy comparator group using a stepwise glucose clamp procedure. Glucose disposal rates were assessed and concentrations of hormones involved in glucose allocation were measured. RESULTS: Glucose disposal rates were lower by 19% in patients with typical MDD and 30% in patients with atypical MDD than in the group of healthy controls (3.2 ± 0.8 and 2.8 ± 0.7 versus 4.0 ± 1.0 mmol h kg). C-peptide concentrations were 26% higher in patients with atypical MDD and similar in patients with typical MDD and healthy controls. Vascular endothelial growth factor concentrations were 30% higher in typical MDD and similar in atypical MDD and the control group. CONCLUSIONS: Whole-body glucose disposal is reduced in patients with typical and atypical depression. The observed neuroendocrine responses suggest a hyperactive allocation system in typical depression and a hypoactive allocation system in atypical depression.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)170-176
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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