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Lower CSF interleukin-6 predicts future depression in a population-based sample of older women followed for 17 years

Journal article
Authors Silke Kern
Ingmar Skoog
Anne Börjesson-Hanson
Kaj Blennow
Henrik Zetterberg
Svante Östling
Jürgen Kern
Pia Gudmundsson
Thomas Marlow
Lars Rosengren
Margda Waern
Published in Brain Behavior and Immunity
Volume 32
Pages 153-158
ISSN 0889-1591
Publication year 2013
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Centre for Ageing and Health (Agecap)
Pages 153-158
Language en
Keywords Prospective, Population-based, CSF, Interleukin-6, Depression, Older women, coronary-heart-disease, major depression, cerebrospinal-fluid, nervous-system, cytokines, inflammation, brain, dementia, il-6, metaanalysis
Subject categories Neurochemistry, Neuroscience, Psychiatry


Objective The literature regarding cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cytokines in geriatric depression is sparse. The aim of this study was to examine associations between CSF interleukin-6 (IL-6) and related proinflammatory cytokines and current and future depression in a population-based sample of older women who were followed for 17 years. Methods 83 non-demented women aged 70–84 years who participated in the Prospective Population Study of Women in Gothenburg, Sweden took part in a lumbar puncture in 1992–3. CSF- IL-6, interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin- 8 (IL-8) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were measured. Psychiatric symptoms were rated with the Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale at baseline and at three subsequent face-to-face examinations. Depression (major or minor) was diagnosed in accordance with DSM-IV/DSM-IV research criteria. Results At baseline, women with ongoing depression had lower levels of IL-6 (p < 0.04), IL-8 (p < 0.05) and TNF-α (p < 0.05) compared with those without depression. In women without depression at baseline, lower CSF IL-6 levels predicted depression at one or more follow-up examination (p < 0.03). Results from the generalized linear mixed logistic model using all baseline and follow-up data on depression status and Mini Mental State Examination score showed a significant relationship between IL-6 and depression (p = 0.005 OR 0.370 CI [0.184–0.744]). Conclusion Lower levels of CSF IL-6 were associated with current depression and with future depression during a follow-up of almost two decades. Our findings suggest that lower levels of CSF IL-6 may be related to depression vulnerability in later life.

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