Serum amyloid P component (SAP) is a universal constituent of human amyloid deposits including those in Alzheimer’s disease. SAP has been observed to be elevated in patients with depression, and higher SAP levels are associated with better response to the antidepressant escitalopram. The mechanisms underlying these clinical observations remain unclear. We examined the effect of SAP on serotonin transporter (SERT) expression and localization using Western blot, confocal microscopy, and positron emission tomography with the radioligand [11C]DASB. We also investigated the effect of SAP on treatment response to escitalopram in mice with the forced swim test (FST), a classical behaviour paradigm to assess antidepressant effects. SAP reduced [11C]DASB binding as an index of SERT levels, consistent with Western blots showing decreased total SAP protein because of increased protein degradation. In conjunction with the global decrease in SERT levels, SAP also promotes VAMP-2 mediated SERT membrane insertion. SAP levels are correlated with behavioural despair and SSRI treatment response in mice with FST. In MDD patients, the SAP and membrane SERT levels are correlated with response to SSRI treatment. SAP has complex effects on SERT levels and localization, thereby modulating the effect of SSRIs, which could partially explain clinical variability in antidepressant treatment response. These results add to our understanding of the mechanism for antidepressant drug action, and with further work could be of clinical utility.
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This work was supported by Advanced Innovation Center for Human Brain Protection, Capital Medical University, and Center for Addiction and Mental Health.
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Su, P., Yan, S., Yang, J. et al. Serum amyloid P component (SAP) modulates antidepressant effects through promoting membrane insertion of the serotonin transporter. Neuropsychopharmacol. (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41386-022-01449-4