Early increase in vegetative symptoms predicts IFN-alpha-induced cognitive-depressive changes.
Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands. Psychological Medicine
(Impact Factor: 5.94).
The vegetative symptoms of depression resemble the symptoms of malaise associated with activation of the inflammatory response system (IRS), and can be regarded as an expression of a central motivational state that resets the organism's priorities to promote recovery from infection. Early vegetative symptoms, however, may also contribute to the high rates of depression seen later in the course of immune activation. We hypothesized that the onset of vegetative-depressive symptoms early in the treatment with the pro-inflammatory cytokine IFN-alpha in chronic hepatitis C patients would increase the risk for subsequent depressive cognitions.
Sixteen patients eligible for IFN-alpha treatment and free of psychiatric disorders were recruited. The DSM-IV, the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory, and the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) were administered at baseline and 1, 2, 4, 8, 12 and 24 weeks after treatment was initiated. Cognitive-depressive and vegetative-depressive symptom clusters were constructed.
Fatigue and depression scores increased significantly during IFN-alpha treatment. Depression scores were highest at week 8 of treatment. First week increase in vegetative-depressive symptom score predicted cognitive-depressive symptom score at week 8 and at week 24.
During IFN-alpha treatment, vegetative symptoms of depression appear earlier than, and are predictive of, their cognitive counterparts. This finding suggests that low mood state may in part be driven by the increase in early vegetative-depressive symptoms in the course of IFN-alpha-induced immune activation.
Available from: Charles L Raison
- "Scores for each item range from 0 to 6 (total possible score ¼ 60), with higher scores indicating greater symptom severity. As discussed previously (Raison et al, 2007), the MADRS has been frequently used to measure depressive symptoms during IFN-a therapy, and shows improved internal consistency in patients with comorbid medical conditions compared with other clinician-administered questionnaires (Bonaccorso et al, 2002; Capuron et al, 2000; Constant et al, 2005; Hammond, 1998; Khan et al, 2004; Wichers et al, 2005). In addition to providing a continuous score of depressive symptoms, the following scores for the MADRS have been correlated with global severity measures of depression and have been used as 'cut-off' scores for levels of severity of depressive symptoms: mild, 15; moderate, 25; and severe, 31 (Kearns et al, 1982; Yonkers and Samson, 2000). "
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ABSTRACT: In patients at high risk for recurrence of malignant melanoma, interferon-α (IFN-α), a stimulator of innate immunity, appears to induce distinct neurobehavioral symptom dimensions: a mood and anxiety syndrome, and a neurovegetative syndrome, of which the former is responsive to prophylactic administration of paroxetine. We sought to determine whether symptom dimensions (and treatment responsiveness) arise in patients with hepatitis C administered IFN-α and ribavirin. In a randomized, double-blind, 6-month study, 61 patients with hepatitis C eligible for therapy with IFN-α and ribavirin received the antidepressant paroxetine (n=28) or a placebo (n=33). Study medication began 2 weeks before IFN-α/ribavirin therapy. Neuropsychiatric assessments included the 10-item Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). The items of the MADRS were grouped into depression, anxiety, cognitive dysfunction, and neurovegetative symptom dimensions, and analyzed using a mixed model. By 2 weeks of IFN-α/ribavirin therapy, all four dimensions increased, with the symptom dimensions of anxiety and cognitive dysfunction fluctuating and worsening, respectively, in both groups over time. The depression symptom dimension was significantly lower in the paroxetine treatment group (p=0.04); severity of the neurovegetative symptom dimension was similar in both groups. Similar to patients with malignant melanoma receiving high-dose IFN-α, the depression symptom dimension is more responsive to paroxetine treatment in individuals undergoing concomitant IFN-α/ribavirin therapy. However, the anxiety, cognitive dysfunction, and neurovegetative symptom dimensions appear less responsive to prophylactic paroxetine administration. Different neurobiologic pathways may contribute to the responsiveness of IFN-α-induced symptom dimensions to antidepressant treatment, requiring relevant psychopharmacologic strategies.
Available from: Jennifer C Felger
- "The MFI assesses five dimensions of fatigue, including general fatigue, physical fatigue, mental fatigue, reduced activity and reduced motivation. In addition to scores for each subscale, a total score was derived by summing the 5-subscale scores (Wichers et al. 2005). Higher scores on the MADRS and MFI indicate greater symptom severity. "
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ABSTRACT: Interferon-alpha (IFN-α) treatment for infectious disease and cancer causes high rates of depression and fatigue, and has been used to investigate the impact of inflammatory cytokines on brain and behavior. However, little is known about the transcriptional impact of chronic IFN-α on immune cells in vivo and its relationship to IFN-α-induced behavioral changes.
Genome-wide transcriptional profiling was performed on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 21 patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) either awaiting IFN-α therapy (n=10) or at 12 weeks of IFN-α treatment (n=11).
Significance analysis of microarray data identified 252 up-regulated and 116 down-regulated gene transcripts. Of the up-regulated genes, 2'-5'-oligoadenylate synthetase 2 (OAS2), a gene linked to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), was the only gene that was differentially expressed in patients with IFN-α-induced depression/fatigue, and correlated with depression and fatigue scores at 12 weeks (r=0.80, p=0.003 and r=0.70, p=0.017 respectively). Promoter-based bioinformatic analyses linked IFN-α-related transcriptional alterations to transcription factors involved in myeloid differentiation, IFN-α signaling, activator protein-1 (AP1) and cAMP responsive element binding protein/activation transcription factor (CREB/ATF) pathways, which were derived primarily from monocytes and plasmacytoid dendritic cells. IFN-α-treated patients with high depression/fatigue scores demonstrated up-regulation of genes bearing promoter motifs for transcription factors involved in myeloid differentiation, IFN-α and AP1 signaling, and reduced prevalence of motifs for CREB/ATF, which has been implicated in major depression.
Depression and fatigue during chronic IFN-α administration were associated with alterations in the expression (OAS2) and transcriptional control (CREB/ATF) of genes linked to behavioral disorders including CFS and major depression, further supporting an immune contribution to these diseases.
Available from: Michael Maes
- "Previously, it was found that in depression, lower plasma and CSF tryptophan are associated with anxiety and somatization (Joseph et al. 1984), agitation (Curzon 1979), neuromuscular symptoms, anxiety, agitation, depressed mood and catatonia (Lehmann 1972), and psychic anxiety, depersonalization, obsessions, paranoid symptoms and diurnal variation (Maes et al. 1990b). IDO activation following IFNα-based immunotherapy is also associated to the onset of somatic symptoms, which develop soon after starting treatment and which predict the outcome of the more cognitive symptoms of depression (Wichers et al. 2005a; 2005b). Terre et al. (2003) reported that somatic complaints may represent one risk factor for the subsequent development of depression. "
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ABSTRACT: Reduced plasma tryptophan occurs in depression and somatization. Induction of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) with consequent synthesis of tryptophan catabolites (TRYCATs) and lowered tryptophan are associated with the onset of depression in the puerperium and during interferon-alpha treatment. Depression is accompanied by lowered kynurenic acid, a neuroprotectant, or increased kynurenine, a neurotoxic TRYCAT.
To examine plasma tryptophan; kynurenine; kynurenic acid; the kynurenine / tryptophan (KY/TRP) ratio, indicating IDO activity; and the kynurenine / kynurenic acid (KY/KA) ratio, indicating kynurenine aminotransferase (KAT) activity, in somatization; depression; somatization + depression; and controls. Illness severity is measured by the Somatic Symptom Index (SSI), the Screening for Somatoform Symptoms (SOMS), and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).
Tryptophan is significantly lower in patients than in controls and lower in somatization than in depression. KY/TRP is significantly increased in somatization. Kynurenic acid is significantly lower in patients than in controls, and lower in somatization than in depression. KY/KA is significantly higher in somatization and somatization + depression than in depression and controls. There are significant correlations between the severity of somatization, but not depression, and KY/TRP and KY/KA (positive) and tryptophan (negative). Kynurenine and kynurenic acid are significantly correlated in controls, somatization + depression, and depression, but not in somatization.
Somatization is characterized by increased IDO activity and disorders in KAT activity and an increased neurotoxic potential. The TRYCAT pathway may play a role in the pathophysiology of somatizing and "psychosomatic" symptoms through effects on pain, gut motility, the autonomic nervous system, peripheral NMDA receptors, etc. Even more, biological disorders, such as aberrations in the TRYCAT pathway, which are considered to be a hallmark for depression, are in fact attributable to somatization rather than to depression per se. Future research in depression on the TRYCAT pathway should always control for the possible effects of somatization.
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