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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2006 Aug 30;30(6):1159-62. Epub 2006 May 5.

Plasma levels of adiponectin and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in patients with remitted major depression receiving long-term maintenance antidepressant therapy.

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  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, University of Fukui, Fukui 910-1193, Japan.


Adiponectin, an adipose tissue-specific plasma protein, is involved in insulin sensitization and has anti-atherosclerotic properties, whereas tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), a pro-inflammatory protein, plays important roles in inflammatory endothelial injury and atherosclerotic changes. It has been reported that adiponectin and TNF-alpha inhibit each other's expression and production in adipocytes. Several in vitro studies indicated that antidepressant medications decreased the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines including TNF-alpha, but the effect of antidepressants on the expression of adiponectin is still unknown. We examined the plasma levels of TNF-alpha and adiponectin in patients with remitted depression receiving maintenance antidepressant therapy for longer than half a year, and compared the levels with those in healthy controls. The plasma levels of TNF-alpha and adiponectin in the remitted depression group were significantly lower and higher than those in the control group, respectively. This preliminary cross-sectional study suggests the possibility that maintenance antidepressant therapy may have anti-inflammatory effects and prevent the development of atherosclerosis.

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