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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 76396, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Cytokine Balance in Major Depression: Effect of Sertraline Therapy

1Department of Psychiatry, Gülhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara 06018, Turkey
2Division of Internal Medicine, GATA Haydarpasa Training Hospital, Istanbul 34668, Turkey
3Department of Immunology, Gülhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara 06018, Turkey
4Department of Monitoring and Evaluation, Turkish Ministry of Health, Ankara 06570, Turkey
5Department of Internal Medicine, Gülhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara 06018, Turkey

Received 23 June 2007; Revised 28 September 2007; Accepted 28 November 2007

Academic Editor: Ethan M. Shevach

Copyright © 2007 Levent Sutcigil et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The specific associations between antidepressant treatment and alterations in the levels of cytokines remain to be elucidated. In this study, we aimed to explore the role of IL-2, IL-4, IL-12, TNF-α, TGF-β1, and MCP-1 in major depression and to investigate the effects of sertraline therapy. Cytokine and chemokine levels were measured at the time of admission and 8 weeks after sertraline treatment. Our results suggest that the proinflammatory cytokines (IL-2, IL-12, and TNF-α) and MCP-1 were significantly higher, whereas anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4 and TGF-β1 were significantly lower in patients with major depression than those of healthy controls. It seems likely that the sertraline therapy might have exerted immunomodulatory effects through a decrease in the proinflammatory cytokine IL-12 and an increase in the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4 and TGF-β1. In conclusion, our results indicate that Th1-, Th2-, and Th3-type cytokines are altered in the depressed patients and some of them might have been corrected by sertraline treatment.