Relationship between novel inflammatory biomarker galectin-3 and depression symptom severity in a large community-based sample

Darlene R. King, Damilola C. Salako, Samia Kate Arthur-Bentil, Arielle E. Rubin, Jay B. Italiya, Jenny S. Tan, Dimitri G. Macris, Hunter K. Neely, Jayme M. Palka, Justin L. Grodin, Kaylee Davis-Bordovsky, Matthew Faubion, Carol S. North, E. Sherwood Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Major depressive disorder is associated with pro-inflammatory markers, such as cytokines TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-1ß, and C-reactive protein. Galectin-3 is a novel emerging biomarker with pro-inflammatory properties. It is a saccharide binding protein distributed throughout many tissues with varying functions and is a predictor of poor outcomes in patients with heart failure and stroke. However, its role as a predictor in depressive symptom severity remains undefined. Data from the community-based Dallas Heart Study (n = 2554) were examined using a multiple linear regression analysis to evaluate the relationship between galectin-3 and depressive symptom severity as assessed with Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology Self-Report (QIDS-SR) scores. Additional covariates included age, sex, race/ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), years of education, serum creatinine, history of diabetes, and smoking history. Galectin-3 levels statistically significantly predicted QIDS-SR depressive symptom severity (β = 0.055, p =.015). Female sex, smoking status, and BMI were found to be statistically significant positive predictors of depression severity, while age, years of education, non-Hispanic White race, and Hispanic ethnicity were negative predictors of depressive symptom severity. In this large sample, higher galectin-3 levels were associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms. The findings suggest that galectin-3 may be a new and useful inflammatory biomarker associated with depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-389
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of affective disorders
StatePublished - Feb 15 2021


  • Dallas Heart Study
  • Galectin-3
  • Inflammation
  • Major Depressive Disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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