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PrelimInary evidence for a compromised T-cell compartment in maltreated children with depression and posttraumatic stress disorder


Bielas, Hannes; Jud, Andreas; Lips, Ulrich; Reichenbach, Janine; Wieser, Iris; Landolt, Markus A (2015). PrelimInary evidence for a compromised T-cell compartment in maltreated children with depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Neuroimmunomodulation, 22(5):303-310.

Abstract

Objective: Adverse childhood experiences, such as maltreatment, and affective disorders are associated with a proinflammatory state and/or variably compromised counts in lymphocyte subsets in adults. Animal models of social stress indicate that recent thymic emigrant cells (RTE), which maintain the T-cell compartment, are affected. Methods: In this study, we examined the association between lymphocyte subsets, and depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among 16 maltreated children (aged 6-17 years) 1-3 years after the intervention by the Child Protection Team and among 14 healthy age-matched controls. The participants completed psychological assessment and had blood drawn for fluorescent-activated cell sorting analysis. Results: Among maltreated children and adolescents, depression was associated with lower counts of RTEs and T-helper cells after controlling for age. We found additional trends and large effect sizes with regard to the percentages of these cells, as well as for related lymphocyte subsets. Similar effects were found for PTSD, i.e. lower counts of naïve T cells, which was also supported by a trend for their percentage. Compared to controls, maltreated participants with a clinical level of depression had decreased percentages of RTEs, with a similar trend for PTSD. Conclusion: Limited by the nature of a pilot study and the small sample size, these preliminary findings of a compromised T-cell compartment related to psychiatric symptoms in maltreated children and adolescents need to be further studied; particularly the role of RTEs needs further evaluation. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Abstract

Objective: Adverse childhood experiences, such as maltreatment, and affective disorders are associated with a proinflammatory state and/or variably compromised counts in lymphocyte subsets in adults. Animal models of social stress indicate that recent thymic emigrant cells (RTE), which maintain the T-cell compartment, are affected. Methods: In this study, we examined the association between lymphocyte subsets, and depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among 16 maltreated children (aged 6-17 years) 1-3 years after the intervention by the Child Protection Team and among 14 healthy age-matched controls. The participants completed psychological assessment and had blood drawn for fluorescent-activated cell sorting analysis. Results: Among maltreated children and adolescents, depression was associated with lower counts of RTEs and T-helper cells after controlling for age. We found additional trends and large effect sizes with regard to the percentages of these cells, as well as for related lymphocyte subsets. Similar effects were found for PTSD, i.e. lower counts of naïve T cells, which was also supported by a trend for their percentage. Compared to controls, maltreated participants with a clinical level of depression had decreased percentages of RTEs, with a similar trend for PTSD. Conclusion: Limited by the nature of a pilot study and the small sample size, these preliminary findings of a compromised T-cell compartment related to psychiatric symptoms in maltreated children and adolescents need to be further studied; particularly the role of RTEs needs further evaluation. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:18 February 2015
Deposited On:06 May 2015 06:47
Last Modified:03 Oct 2017 14:29
Publisher:Karger
ISSN:1021-7401
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1159/000369349
PubMed ID:25721746

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