Does cytokine-induced depression differ from idiopathic major depression in medically healthy individuals?

Lucile Capuron, Fiona B. Fornwalt, Bettina T. Knight, Philip D. Harvey, Philip T. Ninan, Andrew H. Miller
Journal of Affective Disorders. 2009-12-01; 119(1-3): 181-185
DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2009.02.017

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1. J Affect Disord. 2009 Dec;119(1-3):181-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2009.02.017. Epub
2009 Mar 6.

Does cytokine-induced depression differ from idiopathic major depression in
medically healthy individuals?

Capuron L(1), Fornwalt FB, Knight BT, Harvey PD, Ninan PT, Miller AH.

Author information:
(1)Laboratoire de Psychoneuroimmunologie, Université Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.

BACKGROUND: Cytokines of the innate immune response may contribute to behavioral
alterations that resemble major depression as manifested in medically healthy
METHODS: To explore potential similarities and differences between
cytokine-induced depression and idiopathic major depression in healthy subjects,
dimensional analyses comparing specific symptom dimensions of depression were
conducted in 20 patients with malignant melanoma administered the innate immune
cytokine, interferon (IFN)-alpha, and 28 medically healthy subjects with major
depression of similar age and gender distribution. The Hamilton Rating Scale for
Depression was used to assess severity of individual depressive symptoms.
RESULTS: Severity of symptoms of anxiety, depressed mood, and impaired
work/activities were comparable between patients with IFN-alpha-induced
depression and medically healthy depressed patients. Interestingly, however,
compared to medically healthy patients with major depression, patients with
IFN-alpha-induced depression reported significantly greater psychomotor
retardation and weight loss and significantly less severe feelings of guilt.
LIMITATIONS: The relatively small sample size limited statistical power to detect
small differences in symptom expression among groups.
CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that there is considerable overlap in symptom
expression between cytokine-induced depression and idiopathic depression in
medically healthy subjects. Nevertheless, differences in isolated symptom domains
suggest that cytokines may preferentially target neurocircuits relevant to
psychomotor activity (e.g. basal ganglia), while having a limited effect on
cognitive distortions regarding self-appraisal.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2009.02.017
PMCID: PMC2763953
PMID: 19269036 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus