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Author Notes:

Merida M. Grant: merida.grant@vanderbilt.edu

Conceived and designed the experiments: MTT MG SDH JG RCS; Performed the experiments: MTT MG; Analyzed the data: MTT ZD; Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: MG ZD; Wrote the paper: MTT MG SDH RCS.

The authors wish to acknowledge Elizabeth Stringer, Amanda Carson, Nicholas Bossaller, Tyler Richardson and Meghan Bhatta for their technical assistance with data collection and management in the completion of this research.

We would also like to thank Joshua Buckholtz, Andy Tomarken and Ron Cowan for their thoughtful commentary.

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by an NIMH career development award K01 MH073092 to M.M.G.; an NIMH career development award K02 MH01697 to S.D.H.; and grant R01 MH60713 to S.D.H. and R.C.S.; and grant M01 RR-00095 from the National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health.


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Depressive Disorder, Major
  • Gyrus Cinguli
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Fibers, Unmyelinated
  • Organ Size
  • Saliva
  • Young Adult

Early adverse events, HPA activity and rostral anterior cingulate volume in MDD


Journal Title:



Volume 4, Number 3


, Pages e4887-e4887

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Background: Prior studies have independently reported associations between major depressive disorder (MDD), elevated cortisol concentrations, early adverse events and region-specific decreases in grey matter volume, but the relationships among these variables are unclear. In the present study, we sought to evaluate the relationships between grey matter volume, early adverse events and cortisol levels in MDD. Methods/Results: Grey matter volume was compared between 19 controls and 19 individuals with MDD using voxel-based morphometry. A history of early adverse events was assessed using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Subjects also provided salivary cortisol samples. Depressed patients showed decreased grey matter volume in the rostral ACC as compared to controls. Rostral ACC volume was inversely correlated with both cortisol and early adverse events. Conclusions: These findings suggest a key relationship between ACC morphology, a history of early adverse events and circulating cortisol in the pathophysiology of MDD.

Copyright information:

© 2009 Treadway et al.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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