Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

AbstractA subset of patients with depression have elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines, and some studies demonstrate interaction between inflammatory factors and treatment outcome. However, most studies focus on only a narrow subset of factors in a patient sample. In the current study, we analyzed broad immune profiles in blood from patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) at baseline and following treatment with the glutamate modulator ketamine. Serum was analyzed from 26 healthy control and 33 actively depressed TRD patients free of antidepressant medication, and matched for age, sex and body mass index. All subjects provided baseline blood samples, and TRD subjects had additional blood draw at 4 and 24 h following intravenous infusion of ketamine (0.5 mg kg−1). Samples underwent multiplex analysis of 41 cytokines, chemokines and growth factors using quantitative immunoassay technology. Our a priori hypothesis was that TRD patients would show elevations in canonical pro-inflammatory cytokines; analyses demonstrated significant elevation of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6. Further exploratory analyses revealed significant regulation of four additional soluble factors in patients with TRD. Several cytokines showed transient changes in level after ketamine, but none correlated with treatment response. Low pretreatment levels of fibroblast growth factor 2 were associated with ketamine treatment response. In sum, we found that patients with TRD demonstrate a unique pattern of increased inflammatory mediators, chemokines and colony-stimulating factors, providing support for the immune hypothesis of TRD. These patterns suggest novel treatment targets for the subset of patients with TRD who evidence dysregulated immune functioning.

Original publication




Journal article


Translational Psychiatry


Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication Date





e1065 - e1065