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Is depression associated with immune activation? Chronic Fatigue Syndrome related research

  [ 101 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • May 11, 1999

BACKGROUND: Some research immunologists have suggested that
major depression amd chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are
characterized by immune activation. To test this hypothesis,
we compared immunological function in patients with major
depression and in patients with CFS who developed major
depression after the onset of CFS to that of sedentary healthy

METHODS: Subjects completed the Centers for
Epidemiological Study-Depression (CES-D) questionnaire and
allowed venisection. We performed flow cytometric analysis on
13 groups of white blood cells and used a reverse
transcriptase PCR method to assay m-RNA of eight cytokines.

RESULTS: CES-D scores were high in both patient groups and did
not differ significantly. We found no evidence for immune
activation in either patient group. Instead the data suggested
immunological downregulation in depression.

all the subjects in the two patient groups were off

CONCLUSIONS: The data indicate that immune
activation is not necessary in depression--either alone or
with CFS.

Natelson BH, Denny T, Zhou XD, LaManca JJ, Ottenweller JE, Tiersky
L, DeLuca J,Gause WC

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