Cytokine levels in the blood may distinguish suicide attempters from depressed patients.

Psychoimmunology Unit, Division of Psychiatry, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
Brain Behavior and Immunity (Impact Factor: 5.61). 10/2010; 25(2):335-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2010.10.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Elevated plasma cytokines is a common finding in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), although not consistent. It is currently not known whether the inflammatory changes are confined to any specific subgroup of depressive patients. We here analyzed three inflammatory markers in suicidal and non-suicidal depressed patients, as well as healthy controls. Plasma interleukin (IL)-2, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were measured in 47 suicide attempters, 17 non-suicidal depressed patients and 16 healthy controls. Study participants were evaluated using the Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale (CPRS) with subscales for anxiety and degree of depression, as well as the Suicide Assessment Scale (SUAS). We found increased levels of IL-6 and TNF-α as well as decreased IL-2 concentrations in suicide attempters compared to non-suicidal depressed patients and healthy controls. The results were adjusted for potential confounders of cytokine expression, such as age, sex, body mass index (BMI), degree of depression, anxiety, personality disturbance, abuse and type of medication. These results demonstrate for the first time that suicidal patients display a distinct peripheral blood cytokine profile compared to non-suicidal depressed patients. Thus, our study provides further support for a role of inflammation in the pathophysiology of suicidality.

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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Elevated levels of IL-6 have been implicated in the pathophysiology and treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). Convergent evidence suggests that IL-6 primarily mediates proinflammatory functions via the soluble IL-6 receptor/trans-signaling, and anti-inflammatory functions via a transmembrane receptor (IL-6R). A targeted approach to selectively inhibit IL-6 trans-signaling may offer putative antidepressant effects. Areas covered: This review addresses three primary domains. The first focuses on the biological role of IL-6 within inflammation and its signal transduction pathways. The second addresses the potential contributions of IL-6 to the pathophysiology of MDD, and the mechanisms that may mediate these effects. Finally, the article outlines the therapeutic benefits of incorporating anti-inflammatory properties into the pharmacological treatment of MDD, and proposes inhibition of IL-6 signaling as a viable treatment strategy. Expert opinion: To improve drug development for the treatment of MDD, there is a critical need to identify promising targets. Target identification will require guidance from a strategic framework such as The Research Domain Criteria, and convincing evidence relating known targets to brain function under both physiological and pathological conditions. Although current evidence provides rationale for administering anti-IL-6 treatments in MDD, further studies confirming safety, target affinity and therapeutic benefits are warranted.
    Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs 01/2015; · 4.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Based on the urgent need for reliable biomarkers in relation to suicide risk both for more accurate prediction as well as for new therapeutic opportunities, several researchers have been studied evidences of the potential participation of inflammatory processes in the brain, in particular cytokines, in suicide. The purpose of this review was to analyze the associations between inflammation markers and suicide.Methods To achieve this goal, a systematic review of literature was conducted via electronic database Scopus using the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms: “cytokines”, “suicide” and “inflammation”. Through this search it was found 54 articles. After analyzing them 15 met the eligibility criteria and were included in the final sample.ResultsOne of the most mentioned inflammatory markers was Interferon-α (IFN-α), a pro-inflammatory cytokine which has been shown to increase serum concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF- α) and IFN-ϒ, which are factors increased suicide victims and attempters. In this line, IL-6 is not only found to be elevated in the cerebrospinal fluid of suicide attempters, even its levels in the peripheral blood have been proposed as a biological suicide marker. Another study stated that increased levels of IL-4 and IL-13 transcription in the orbitofrontal cortex of suicides suggest that these cytokines may affect neurobehavioral processes relevant to suicide.LimitationsA lack of studies and great amount of cross-sectional studies.Conclusion Inflammation may play an important role in the pathophysiology of suicide, especially, levels of some specific inflammatory cytokines.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 10/2014; · 3.71 Impact Factor

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