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J Affect Disord. 1999 Sep;55(1):29-37.

Autoantibody disturbances in affective disorders: a function of age and gender?

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  • 1Laboratory for the Study of Emerging Diseases, University of California Irvine, 92697-4292, USA.



Numerous investigators have reported increased autoantibodies to a wide variety of native antigens in patients with affective disorders. However, association of autoimmunity with affective subtypes, mood state, psychotropic medications, age, and gender has not been extensively explored.


The present study assessed 79 bipolar I, 24 bipolar II, and 46 unipolar major depression patients along with 22 healthy, nonpsychiatric controls for the presence of serum antinuclear (ANA), anti-double stranded DNA, antithyroid microsomal, antithyroglobulin, anticardiolipin (ACA) IgM, and ACA IgG antibodies.


Consistent with their higher prevalence of autoimmune disease, women exhibited increased levels of ANA and ACA IgM compared to men. ACA IgG antibody titers also increased significantly with age. Contrary to prior reports of general, overall increases in autoantibodies and specific increases in ANA and antithyroid antibodies in depressed patients, we did not see a significant association between any of the autoantibodies and affective subtype, mood state, or psychotropic medications.


Affective subgroups were heterogeneous with respect to psychotropic medications, affective state, age, and gender in this retrospective analysis. Subgroup sample size was insufficient to determine whether interactions of these clinical variables may have influenced results.


These results suggest that gender and age may have more influence on autoantibodies than affective diagnosis, affective state, or medications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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