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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2011;13(1):41-53.

Inflammation in depression: is adiposity a cause?

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37212, USA. richard.shelton@vanderbilt.edu

Abstract

Mounting evidence indicates that inflammation may play a significant role in the development of depression. Patients with depression exhibit increased inflammatory markers, and administration of cytokines and other inflammatory stimuli can induce depressive symptoms. Mechanisms by which cytokines access the brain and influence neurotransmitter systems relevant to depression have also been described, as have preliminary findings indicating that antagonizing inflammatory pathways may improve depressive symptoms. One primary source of inflammation in depression appears to be adiposity. Adipose tissue is a rich source of inflammatory factors including adipokines, chemokines, and cytokines, and a bidirectional relationship between adiposity and depression has been revealed. Adiposity is associated with the development of depression, and depression is associated with adiposity, reflecting a potentional vicious cycle between these two conditions which appears to center around inflammation. Treatments targeting this vicious cycle may be especially relevant for the treatment and prevention of depression as well as its multiple comorbid disorders such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, all of which have also been associated with both depression and inflammation.

PMID:
21485745
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3181969
Free PMC Article
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