There is mounting interest in the hypothesis that inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of depression and underlies depressed patients' vulnerability to comorbid medical conditions. However, research on depression and inflammation has yielded conflicting findings, fostering speculation that these conditions associate only in certain subgroups, such as patients exposed to childhood adversity.
We studied 147 female adolescents. All were in good health at baseline but at high risk for depression because of family history or cognitive vulnerability. Subjects were assessed every 6 months for 2.5 years, undergoing diagnostic interviews and venipuncture for measurement of two inflammatory biomarkers, C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Childhood adversity was indexed by parental separation, low socioeconomic status, and familial psychopathology.
Multilevel models indicated that childhood adversity promotes clustering of depression and inflammation. Among subjects exposed to high childhood adversity, the transition to depression was accompanied by increases in both CRP and IL-6. Higher CRP remained evident 6 months later, even after depressive symptoms had abated. These lingering effects were bidirectional, such that among subjects with childhood adversity, high IL-6 forecasted depression 6 months later, even after concurrent inflammation was considered. This coupling of depression and inflammation was not apparent in subjects without childhood adversity.
These findings suggest that childhood adversity promotes the formation of a neuroimmune pipeline in which inflammatory signaling between the brain and periphery is amplified. Once established, this pipeline leads to a coupling of depression and inflammation, which may contribute to later affective difficulties and biomedical complications.
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"One of the plausible explanations for the lack of expected moderation of the link between childhood abuse and rMDD by IL-1 could lie in the type or the timing of stressor we used. More specifically, depression is a heterogeneous disorder and there is evidence for cytokine disruption in only a subset of depressed individuals (Miller & Cole, 2012; Slavich & Irwin, 2014), or with specific depressive symptoms (Baune et al., 2012; Jokela, Virtanen, Batty, & Kivimäki, 2015 ). In addition , although we focused on childhood abuse in our study, there is evidence from other research that other specific forms of negative life events may impact cytokine levels (e.g., targeted rejection events; for a review, see Slavich & Irwin, 2014). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Extensive evidence highlights the role of inflammatory processes in major depressive disorder (MDD). However, most studies have examined a consistent set of inflammatory cytokines and there is evidence that other immune-derived products may play a role in MDD. In this article, we present data from 3 complimentary studies that support the role of a novel cytokine, interleukin-33 (IL-33), in depression risk. First, we show that a 2-SNP haplotype in the IL-33 gene (rs11792633 and rs7044343) moderated the link between women's history of childhood abuse and their history of recurrent MDD (rMDD), such that the link between childhood abuse and rMDD was stronger among women with fewer copies of the protective IL-33 CT haplotype. Second, linking these findings to differences in circulating cytokine levels, we show in a separate sample that those with a history of rMDD had higher peripheral levels of IL-33 and IL-1β compared with women with a single MDD episode or no history of MDD. Third, providing initial evidence of brain regions underlying these effects using archival rat brain tissue, we show that an acute stressor increased IL-33 expression in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and, to a lesser extent, the prefrontal cortex, key brain regions underlying stress response and emotion regulation. These findings provide converging support for the potential role of IL-33 in risk for recurrent MDD. (PsycINFO Database Record
"Changes in the circulating levels of these proteins have been associated with many disease states, making them potentially valuable as functional biomarkers. Excessive or diminished cytokine levels are associated with schizophrenia and depression and are associated with a pro-inflammatory phenotype in patients with a history of childhood trauma, but not in patients without such history (Dennison et al., 2012; Miller and Cole, 2012). There are several pathways of active communication that allow controlled immune signaling between the periphery and the brain. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Childhood adversity increases vulnerability to psychiatric disorders that emerge in adolescence, in a sex-dependent manner. Early adversity modeled in rodents with maternal separation (MS) affects cognition and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) circuitry. Humans and animals exposed to early life adversity also display heightened circulating inflammatory cytokines, however the predictive relationship of these early measures with later behavioral deficits is unknown. Here, male and female rats were exposed to MS or control rearing during the postnatal period (P2-21). Blood samples were taken at distinct developmental time points for analysis of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β and the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4, and IL-10, followed by win-shift cognitive testing and analysis of mPFC parvalbumin (PVB) immunofluorescent interneurons in adolescence. Regression analyses were conducted to explore the relationship between early cytokines and adolescent behavioral measures. We observed sex- and age-dependent effects of MS on circulating cytokines. MS also yielded adolescent decreases in mPFC PVB and cognitive deficits, which were predicted by early cytokine expression in a sex- and experience-dependent manner. Taken together, the present data reveals that circulating cytokines and PVB levels are predictive of adolescent cognitive deficits, and therefore provide compelling evidence for a putative role of early biomarkers in mediating MS-induced behavioral dysfunction. Importantly, predictive relationships often depended on sex and on MS history, suggesting that early life experiences may yield individualistic mechanisms of vulnerability compared to the general population.
"To explain this association, severe childhood stress was shown to predispose to persistently high inflammatory status of the body (CRP and IL-6) lasting to adulthood. In subjects with severe childhood adverse events the systemic levels of inflammatory cytokines were also raised higher in response to an adverse event in adulthood when compared to those without childhood adverse events [134, 135]. The persistently activated inflammatory pathways may increase susceptibility to other chronic inflammatory diseases. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Asthma is a heterogeneous disease with many phenotypes, and age at disease onset is an important factor in separating the phenotypes. Most studies with asthma have been performed in patients being otherwise healthy. However, in real life, comorbid diseases are very common in adult patients. We review here the emerging comorbid conditions to asthma such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM2), and cardiac and psychiatric diseases. Their role as risk factors for incident asthma and whether they affect clinical asthma are evaluated. Obesity, independently or as a part of metabolic syndrome, DM2, and depression are risk factors for incident asthma. In contrast, the effects of comorbidities on clinical asthma are less well-known and mostly studies are lacking. Cross-sectional studies in obese asthmatics suggest that they may have less well controlled asthma and worse lung function. However, no long-term clinical follow-up studies with these comorbidities and asthma were identified. These emerging comorbidities often occur in the same multimorbid adult patient and may have in common metabolic pathways and inflammatory or other alterations such as early life exposures, systemic inflammation, inflammasome, adipokines, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, lung mechanics, mitochondrial dysfunction, disturbed nitric oxide metabolism, and leukotrienes.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Mediators of Inflammation