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Compr Psychiatry. 2013 Oct;54(7):953-61. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2013.03.026. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

Elevated specific peripheral cytokines found in major depressive disorder patients with childhood trauma exposure: a cytokine antibody array analysis.

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Mental Health Institute of The Second Xiangya Hospital, Key Laboratory of Psychiatry and Mental Health of Hunan Province, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China.


Taking into consideration the previous evidence of revealing the relationship of early life adversity, major depressive disorder (MDD), and stress-linked immunological changes, we recruited 22 MDD patients with childhood trauma exposures (CTE), 21 MDD patients without CTE, and 22 healthy controls without CTE, and then utilized a novel cytokine antibody array methodology to detect potential biomarkers underlying MDD in 120 peripheral cytokines and to evaluate the effect of CTE on cytokine changes in MDD patients. Although 13 cytokines were identified with highly significant differences in expressions between MDD patients and normal controls, this relationship was significantly attenuated and no longer significant after consideration of the effect of CTE in MDD patients. Depressed individuals with CTE (TD patients) were more likely to have higher peripheral levels of those cytokines. Severity of depression was associated with plasma levels of certain increased cytokines; meanwhile, the increased cytokines led to a proper separation of TD patients from normal controls during clustering analyses. Our research outcomes add great strength to the relationship between depression and cytokine changes and suggest that childhood trauma may play a vital role in the co-appearance of cytokine changes and depression.


ANOVA; AgRP; BMI; BTC; C reactive protein; CI; CRF; CRP; CTE; CTQ; Confidence interval; DM; DSM; Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; GITR-L; GR; HAMD; HPA; Hamilton Depressive Rating Scale; I-TAC; IL; IL-1 R1; MCP-1; MDD; MEC; MIP-1beta; NC; NT-4; NTD; PTSD; RA; SCID; SDS; SI; SPSS; SSRI; TD; TECK; TGF-β3; TNF; TRAIL-R4; VEGF; Zung's Self-rating Depression Scale; agouti-related protein; analysis of variance; b-FGF; basic fibroblast growth factor; betacellulin; body mass index; childhood trauma exposure; childhood trauma questionnaire; corticotropin-releasing factor; depression with childhood trauma; depression without childhood trauma; diabetes mellitus; glucocorticoid receptor; glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor-ligand; hypothalamic pituitary adrenocortical axis; interferon induced T cell α chemoattractant; interleukin; interleukin-1 Receptor 1; macrophage inflammatory protein-1beta; major depressive disorder; monocyte chemotactic protein-1; mucosae-associated epithelial chemokine; neurotrophin-4; normal control; post traumatic stress disorder; rheumatoid arthritis; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor; signal intensity; statistical package for the social sciences; structured clinical interview for DSM-IV; thymus-expressed chemokine; transforming growth factor-β3; tumor necrosis factor; tumor necrosis factor related apoptosis inducing ligand-receptor 4; vascular endothelial growth factor

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