Abnormal function of monoamine oxidase-A in comorbid major depressive disorder and cardiovascular disease: Pathophysiological and therapeutic implications (Review)
- Rodrigo Machado-Vieira
- Alan G. Mallinger
Published online on: September 4, 2012
The association between major depressive disorder (MDD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) is among the best described medical comorbidities. The presence of MDD increases the risk of cardiac admissions and mortality and increases healthcare costs in patients with CVD, and similarly, CVD affects the course and outcome of MDD. The potential shared biological mechanisms involved in these comorbid conditions are not well known. However, the enzyme monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A), which has a key role in the degradation of catecholamines, has been associated with the pathophysiology and therapeutics of both MDD and CVD. Increased MAO-A activity results in the dysregulation of downstream targets of this enzyme and thus affects the pathophysiology of the two diseases. These deleterious effects include altered noradrenaline turnover, with a direct elevation in oxidative stress parameters, as well as increased platelet activity and cytokine levels. These effects were shown to be reversed by MAO inhibitors. Here, a model describing a key role for the MAO-A in comorbid MDD and CVD is proposed, with focus on the shared pathophysiological mechanisms and the potential therapeutic relevance of agents targeting this enzyme.