Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared.
Research Review: The role of cytokines in depression in adolescents: a systematic review
Article first published online: 4 JUN 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry © 2013 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume 54, Issue 8, pages 816–835, August 2013
How to Cite
Mills, N. T., Scott, J. G., Wray, N. R., Cohen-Woods, S. and Baune, B. T. (2013), Research Review: The role of cytokines in depression in adolescents: a systematic review. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54: 816–835. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12080
- Issue published online: 18 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 4 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 MAR 2013
- Australian Research Council . Grant Number: FT0991360
- immune system;
- MDD ;
While cytokines have been implicated in the pathophysiology of depression in adults, the potential role in younger age groups such as adolescents is less clear. This article therefore reviews the literature (a) to explore the relationship between cytokines and depression in adolescents, and (b) to examine how cytokines may be related to adolescent depression in the context of other neurobiological theories of depression.
A systematic review of the scientific literature on the subject was conducted in February 2013, searching the Web of Knowledge, PubMed (Medline), PsycInfo and Cochrane electronic databases.
Eighteen studies were identified measuring both depression or depressive symptoms and cytokines or immune markers in adolescents. Adolescents with depression show age-specific characteristics of the immune and inflammatory system, specifically in NK cell activity and in pro-inflammatory cytokines (such as IL-1β and TNF-α). In addition, the role of cytokines in adolescent depression is influenced by neurodevelopment, hormonal changes, stress and trauma.
There may be differences in the neurobiology of adolescent major depressive disorder (MDD) compared with adult MDD. Increased understanding of the role of cytokines in adolescent MDD may lead to improved outcomes in the treatment of adolescent depression.