Leveraging the microbiome to understand clinical heterogeneity in depression: findings from the T-RAD study Journal Articles uri icon

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  • AbstractAlterations in the gut microbiome have been linked to a variety of mental illnesses including anxiety and depression. This study utilized advanced bioinformatics tools that integrated both the compositional and community nature of gut microbiota to investigate how gut microbiota influence clinical symptoms in a sample of participants with depression. Gut microbiota of 179 participants with major depressive disorder (MDD) in the Texas Resilience Against Depression (T-RAD) study were analyzed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing of stool samples. Severity of anxiety, depression, and anhedonia symptoms were assessed with General Anxiety Disorder – 7 item scale, Patient Health 9-item Questionnaire, and Dimensional Anhedonia Rating Scale, respectively. Using weighted correlation network analysis, a data-driven approach, three co-occurrence networks of bacterial taxa were identified. One of these co-occurrence networks was significantly associated with clinical features including depression and anxiety. The hub taxa associated with this co-occurrence module –one Ruminococcaceae family taxon, one Clostridiales vadinBB60 group family taxon, and one Christencenellaceae family taxon– were connected to several additional butyrate-producing bacteria suggesting that deficits in butyrate production may contribute to clinical symptoms. Therefore, by considering the community nature of the gut microbiome in a real world clinical sample, this study identified a gut microbial co-occurrence network that was significantly associated with clinical anxiety in a cohort of depressed individuals.


  • Chin Fatt, Cherise R
  • Asbury, Sarah
  • Jha, Manish K
  • Minhajuddin, Abu
  • Sethuram, Sangita
  • Mayes, Taryn
  • Kennedy, Sidney H
  • Foster, Jane
  • Trivedi, Madhukar H

publication date

  • April 28, 2023