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Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1996 Jan;78(1):83-5.

Increased CD56+ natural killer cells and related cytokines in major depression.

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Institute of Immunology and Transfusion Medicine, University of L├╝beck School of Medicine, Germany.


Twenty-seven inpatients with major depression were examined four times within 6 weeks to assess CD56+ natural killer (NK) cell counts by flow cytometry and to assess the related lymphokines interleukin-2 and interferon-gamma in a whole blood assay after mitogen stimulation with phytohemagglutinin (PHA). The patient showed significantly higher counts of the fraction of 56+ NK cells and a greater lymphokine response to PHA than the controls. A significant correlation between lymphokine secretion and CD56+ cell counts was detected in the patients' acute clinical stage, but not in healthy controls or in patients after clinical improvement.

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