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Neurosci Lett. 2012 Jun 27;520(1):1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2012.04.072. Epub 2012 May 8.

Unmedicated, remitted patients with major depression have decreased serum immunoglobulin A.

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  • 1Clinical Neuroendocrinology Branch, NIH/NIMH, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. philipgold@mail.nih.gov


Patents with major depression have evidence of a proinflammatory state with consistent elevations in acute phase proteins and in the levels of inflammatory mediators such as interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α. We report here a study of the serum levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) in medication-free patients with major depression in the remitted state (ruMDD). Selective IgA deficiency is the most common form of immunoglobulin abnormality, and is often associated with a higher than expected incidence of proinflammatory and autoimmune phenomena. We measured serum IgG, IgM, and IgA in 28 ruMDD patients and 27 healthy subjects (Ctrl) at 0 (pretreatment), 7, and 24h following sham depletion and tryptophan (TrpD) depletion conducted at least 8 days apart under balanced, randomized, blinded conditions. Immunoglobulins were measured by automated immunonephelometry. Data were analyzed by repeated measures ANOVA with diagnosis as a fixed effect and drug (TrpD vs. sham), and time as repeated measures factors. Serum IgA was consistently lower in ruMDD patients vs. Ctrl at all time points examined (p<0.04 for main effect of diagnosis). Serum IgG and IgM levels did not show significant differences by diagnosis. Medication-free patients with major depression in the remitted state have a significant reduction in serum IgA levels measured on multiple occasions. In the light of the fact that IgA serves many immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory roles, this finding supports the concept that major depressive illness represents a proinflammatory state.

Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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