Advisory Committee Chair
Advisory Committee Members
Date of Award
Degree Name by School
Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences
Prior research has suggested a possible role for the proinflammatory adipokine leptin in depression. Leptin has also been associated with stress, a known predictor of depression. The purpose of this project was to investigate associations between stress, leptin, and depressed mood. We used data from a larger observational study that collected daily levels of plasma leptin and self-reported stress and depressed mood from 55 women over 25 days. Women with and without chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) were included. We hypothesized the following: increased stress would be associated with both worsened mood and higher leptin, and that leptin would be positively associated with depressed mood. Vitamin D was also explored as a potential moderating factor. Linear mixed models were used to analyze associations between daily stress, leptin, and mood at a 1-day time lag. Results suggested an association between stress and next-day leptin, dependent on vitamin D level (p = .018). Leptin also varied by patient group depending on vitamin D (p = .018), with highest leptin observed among women with CFS and lower vitamin D (< 20 ng/mL). Overall, findings support further investigation of vitamin D in relation to stress and leptin; leptin, however, does not appear to play a substantial role in depressed mood.
Hodgin, Kathleen, "Stress, Inflammation, and Mood: A Role for Leptin?" (2021). All ETDs from UAB. 808.