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Inflammation and immune regulation as potential drug targets in antidepressant treatment


Schmidt, FM and Kirkby, KC and Lichtblau, N, Inflammation and immune regulation as potential drug targets in antidepressant treatment, Current Neuropharmacology, 14, (7) pp. 674-87. ISSN 1570-159X (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Bentham Science Publishers

DOI: doi:10.2174/1570159X14666160115130414


Growing evidence supports a mutual relationship between inflammation and major depression. A variety of mechanisms are outlined, indicating how inflammation may be involved in the pathogenesis, course and treatment of major depression. In particular, this review addresses 1) inflammatory cytokines as markers of depression and potential predictors of treatment response, 2) findings that cytokines interact with antidepressants and non-pharmacological antidepressive therapies, such as electroconvulsive therapy, deep brain stimulation and physical activity, 3) the influence of cytokines on the cytochrome (CYP) p450-system and drug efflux transporters, and 4) how cascades of inflammation might serve as antidepressant drug targets. A number of clinical trials have focused on agents with immunmodulatory properties in the treatment of depression, of which this reviews covers nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cytokine inhibitors, ketamine, polyunsaturated fatty acids, statins and curcumin. A perspective is also provided on possible future immune targets for antidepressant therapy, such as toll-like receptor-inhibitors, glycogen synthase kinase-3 inhibitors, oleanolic acid analogs and minocycline. Concluding from the available data, markers of inflammation may become relevant factors for more personalised planning and prediction of response of antidepressant treatment strategies. Agents with anti-inflammatory properties have the potential to serve as clinically relevant antidepressants. Further studies are required to better define and identify subgroups of patients responsive to inflammatory agents as well as to define optimal time points for treatment onset and duration.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biomarker, cytokines, curcumin, depression, infliximab, ketamine, treatment prediction
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Kirkby, KC (Professor Kenneth Kirkby)
ID Code:107672
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:38
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2016-03-22
Last Modified:2018-03-06

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