Background: The effect of some peripheral hormones as leptin and ghrelin on mood and anxiety in humans is still a matter of discussion. Aims: The aim of our study was to investigate the relationship between leptin, ghrelin levels and severity of psychopathological symptoms of anxiety, depression in female patients within a wide range of weight. Study design: Cross-sectional study.
Methods: A group of 60 female patients across the weight spectrum and 20 healthy age-matched controls were clinically examined. Bioimpedance analysis, Hamilton Rating scales for Anxiety and Depression, hormonal measurements of leptin, desacyl ghrelin, 24 hour urine cortisol and statistical analysis were conducted.
Results: In the patient group, subgroup of 22 females had lost weight (BMI kg m2 16.94+-3.4). Subgroup of 38 females had gained weight (BMI kg m2 31.54+-6.5) and had significantly higher anxiety (14.5+-5.3), depressive (10.37+-4.1) scores, leptin levels (101.06+-39.7 ng ml) and lower ghrelin (161.48+- 58 pg ml) and cortisol levels (78.63+-47.6 nmol 24h) compared to the group with weight reduction and the controls. In the whole study group there was weak inverse correlation between ghrelin levels and anxiety, depressive scores (p < 0.05; r ≈ – 0.25), which became insignificant after controlling for fat mass. Partial correlation between HAM-A scores and leptin levels controlled for the effect of fat mass % was significant (p < 0.05, r = 0.28).
Conclusion: We found that women with higher anxiety scores had higher leptin levels, independently of body fat mass. The role of ghrelin in depression and anxiety remains to be further elucidated.Full text sources