Interferon-alpha-induced depressive symptoms are related to changes in the cytokine network but not to cortisol

Marieke C. Wichers*, Gunter Kenis, Ger H. Koek, Geert Robaeys, Nancy A. Nicolson, Michael Maes

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

104 Citaten (Scopus)


Objective: Proinflammatory cytokines have the potential to activate the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis, and HPA axis hyperactivity is also encountered in depression. Therefore, the induction of depressive symptoms by interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) may be mediated by changes in the cytokine network and the HPA axis. Methods: In 17 hepatitis C patients undergoing IFN-alpha treatment, depressive symptoms were measured using the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). In addition, serum cytokine concentrations were measured. Saliva was collected five times over the course of a day in order to assess daily average cortisol (DAC) and awakening response. Assessments were carried out at baseline and six later time points after starting treatment. Results: During treatment, the increases in the MADRS were significantly and positively correlated with soluble interleukin (IL)-2 receptor, tumor necrosis factor a (TNF-alpha), and IL-6. There were no significant associations between the DAC or cortisol awakening response with the MADRS score. Conclusion: Results suggest a clear connection between IFN-alpha-induced depressive symptoms and cytokine concentrations, but not cortisol. (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)207-214
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
StatusPublished - feb-2007
Extern gepubliceerdJa

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