Recently, it has been shown that higher plasma serine concentrations are a possible biological marker for psychoses including schizophrenia. The present study was carried out in order to investigate plasma serine levels in 123 depressed subjects (41 minor; 47 simple major; 35 melancholic depressives) and 50 normal controls. It was found that plasma serine concentrations were significantly higher in depressed subjects than in normal controls. There were no significant correlations between plasma serine and postdexamethasone cortisol values. Dexamethasone administration had a significant suppressive effect on plasma serine levels in depression but not in normal controls. In the latter – but not in depressed subjects – there were significant positive correlations between plasma serine and L-tryptophan concentrations.

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