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The aetiology of depression remains tentative. Current hypotheses on the aetiology of the depressive disorder tend to integrate monoaminoergic, neuroendocrine and immunological concepts of depression. A number of research papers emphasise the altered hormonal and immune status of patients with depression with pronounced cytokine level variations. Those studies tend to link the variable course of depression in relation to the altered proinflammatory activity of the immune system. The results of the studies on the activity of the selected elements of the immune system are ambiguous indicating both increased and decreased activities of its selected elements. However, a number of basic and psychopharmacological studies support the hypothesis of the increased proinflammatory activity of the immune system in the course of depression which is the foundation for the immunological hypothesis of depression. The aim of this paper is to review the functional abnormalities that are observed in depression focusing on the monoaminoergic deficiency and increased immune activation as well as endocrine dysregulation. This paper puts together and discusses current studies related to this subject with a detailed insight into interactions involving nervous, endocrine and immune systems.


Journal article


Psychiatr Pol

Publication Date





431 - 444


Depression, Humans, Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System, Immune System, Inflammation, Models, Biological, Pituitary-Adrenal System