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Stress-induced pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine concentrations in female PTSD and depressive patients


Renner, Vanessa; Schellong, Julia; Bornstein, Stefan; Petrowski, Katja (2022). Stress-induced pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine concentrations in female PTSD and depressive patients. Translational Psychiatry, 12:158.

Abstract

Alterations of the hypothalamus pituitary-axis on one hand and heightened rates of somatic diseases and mortality on the other hand are consistently found for PTSD and MDD patients. A possible link between these factors might be the immune system, in particular pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. A 'low-grade inflammation' in PTSD and MDD patients was found, whereas the influence of acute stress and the role of anti-inflammatory cytokines was rarely examined. In this study, 17 female PTSD patients participated in the Trier social stress test while serum cytokine levels (IL-6, IL-10) were assessed. Cytokine levels of PTSD patients were compared with levels of female depressive patients (n = 18) and female healthy controls (n = 18). Group differences were assessed using a 3 (group) x 8 (time: -15, -1, +1, +10, +20, +30, +45, +60 min) ANCOVA for repeated measures with baseline values as covariates. There was no group difference regarding IL-6 levels (p = 0.920) but PTSD patients showed significantly higher levels of IL-10 compared with depressive patients (p < 0.001, d = 0.16) and healthy controls (p = 0.001, d = 0.38). Under acute stress, PTSD patients did not show the widely found elevated IL-6 levels but showed an increase of anti-inflammatory IL-10. Therefore, acute stress seems to promote an imbalance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine levels in PTSD and might indicate a hyperreactive immune response. This should be considered in future studies to further understand the role of the immune system as a link between stress response and somatic diseases.

Abstract

Alterations of the hypothalamus pituitary-axis on one hand and heightened rates of somatic diseases and mortality on the other hand are consistently found for PTSD and MDD patients. A possible link between these factors might be the immune system, in particular pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. A 'low-grade inflammation' in PTSD and MDD patients was found, whereas the influence of acute stress and the role of anti-inflammatory cytokines was rarely examined. In this study, 17 female PTSD patients participated in the Trier social stress test while serum cytokine levels (IL-6, IL-10) were assessed. Cytokine levels of PTSD patients were compared with levels of female depressive patients (n = 18) and female healthy controls (n = 18). Group differences were assessed using a 3 (group) x 8 (time: -15, -1, +1, +10, +20, +30, +45, +60 min) ANCOVA for repeated measures with baseline values as covariates. There was no group difference regarding IL-6 levels (p = 0.920) but PTSD patients showed significantly higher levels of IL-10 compared with depressive patients (p < 0.001, d = 0.16) and healthy controls (p = 0.001, d = 0.38). Under acute stress, PTSD patients did not show the widely found elevated IL-6 levels but showed an increase of anti-inflammatory IL-10. Therefore, acute stress seems to promote an imbalance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine levels in PTSD and might indicate a hyperreactive immune response. This should be considered in future studies to further understand the role of the immune system as a link between stress response and somatic diseases.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Endocrinology and Diabetology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Life Sciences > Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Language:English
Date:14 April 2022
Deposited On:16 May 2022 07:01
Last Modified:27 Jun 2024 01:37
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2158-3188
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-022-01921-1
PubMed ID:35422029
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)