Opposite subgenual cingulate cortical functional connectivity and metabolic activity patterns in refractory melancholic major depression

  • Guo-Rong Wu
  • Rudi De Raedt
  • Peter Van Schuerbeek
  • Chris BaekenEmail author


Although in treatment-resistant depression (TRD) subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) functional connectivity (FC) is frequently used to examine deregulated brain networks, neurobiological data from other sources may be required to interpret these FC findings. In 16 melancholic TRD patients with a high level of treatment resistance and 16 closely matched healthy never-depressed individuals we verified whether sgACC FC patterns were related to regional metabolic activity (CMRglc) with 18FDG PET imaging. Notwithstanding that TRD patients displayed stronger sgACC FC with the right lateral frontotemporal cortex, metabolically they exhibited the opposite pattern. Our results indicate that the sgACC seed and its functionally connected regions not automatically follow a similar metabolic pattern in TRD, possibly reflecting the refractory state of the sample. Multimodal brain imaging may help to increase our insight into the pathophysiology of TRD.


Major depressive disorder Refractory, sgACC Resting state fMRI, 18FDG PET 



This study was funded by a grant from the Scientific Fund W. Gepts, by the Ghent University Multidisciplinary Research Partnership “The integrative neuroscience of behavioural control”, by a grant BOF16/GOA/017 for a Concerted Research Action of Ghent University, and by a grant from the National Natural Foundation of China (Grant No. 61876156).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors report no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

11682_2018_11_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.4 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1415 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyJiangxi Normal UniversityNanchangChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality, Faculty of PsychologySouthwest UniversityChongqingChina
  3. 3.Department of Experimental Clinical and Health PsychologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  4. 4.Department of Radiology and Medical ImagingUniversity Hospital (UZBrussel)BrusselsBelgium
  5. 5.Department of Psychiatry and Medical PsychologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  6. 6.Ghent Experimental Psychiatry (GHEP) LabGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  7. 7.Department of PsychiatryUniversity Hospital (UZBrussel), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)BrusselsBelgium

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