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Clinical and Experimental Medicine

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 493–502

First Online: 24 September 2015Received: 04 February 2015Accepted: 09 September 2015DOI: 10.1007-s10238-015-0391-0

Cite this article as: Rybka, J., Korte, S.M., Czajkowska-Malinowska, M. et al. Clin Exp Med 2016 16: 493. doi:10.1007-s10238-015-0391-0


Depression is highly prevalent in COPD patients, and both diseases are believed to be associated with inflammation. The aim of this study was to elucidate the role of the immune system alterations in pathogenesis of depression in COPD patients. Blood was collected from patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and comorbid depressive symptoms COPD + DS, N = 13, from individuals with either COPD N = 16 or recurrent depressive disorder rDD alone N = 15, and from healthy controls N = 19. Surface phenotype expression of T regulatory and T effector cells was analyzed with a flow cytometry, and IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IFN-γ, IL-17, and neopterin were detected with ELISA. We demonstrated that COPD, depression, and COPD with comorbid depression are associated with increased IL-6 levels when compared with healthy controls 42.2 ± 1.87, 40.9 ± 2.12, 41.7 ± 1.31, and 33.2 ± 1.23 pg-ml, respectively p < 0.05. A significant increase in neopterin levels was observed both in rDD and COPD patients when compared with controls 15.69 ± 0.095, 13.98 ± 0.887 vs. 9.22 ± 0.466 nmol-l, p < 0.001 and p < 0.05, respectively. Concentrations of IFN-γ were significantly increased in COPD + DS patients when compared with controls 24.3 ± 1.49 and 17.8 ± 0.70 pg-ml, respectively, p < 0.05. IL-2 levels were highest in COPD + DS 3.20 ± 0.389 pg-ml and differed significantly when this group was compared with controls 2.20 ± 0.184 pg-ml, p ≤ 0.05. In this study, we demonstrated for the first time that depressive symptoms in COPD patients may be related to inflammatory state as confirmed by increased levels of IL-6 both in COPD and depression and also in COPD with comorbid depressive symptoms, despite the fact that the patients were treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and-or antidepressants. We also identified IFN-γ and IL-2 as putative inflammatory agents associated with depressive symptoms in COPD patients. Prospective studies will need to confirm whether measuring IL-2 and IFN-γ can identify COPD patients at risk of depression. These findings suggest that T helper cell 1-derived cellular immune activation may play significant role in developing depressive symptoms in COPD patients.

KeywordsCOPD Depression IL-6 IL-2 IFN-γ Treg Neopterin  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Joanna Rybka - S. Mechiel Korte - Małgorzata Czajkowska-Malinowska - Małgorzata Wiese - Kornelia Kędziora-Kornatowska - J


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