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IL-8 is associated with anxiety in suicidal patients: genotypes and biological measures in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma

Journal article
Authors Shorena Janelidze
Petra Suchankova
Agneta Ekman
Sophie Erhardt
Martin Samuelsson
Åsa Westrin
Lil Träskman-Bendz
Lena Brundin
Published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume 131
Issue 4
Pages 269–278
ISSN 0001-690X
Publication year 2015
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology
Pages 269–278
Language en
Keywords depression;inflammation;chemokine;biomarker
Subject categories Psychiatry


Objective Recent studies indicate that inflammation may play a role in the pathophysiology of suicidality. Interleukin-8 (IL-8) is a chemokine that in addition to its function in the immune system also exert neuroprotective properties. The involvement of this chemokine in neuropsychiatric conditions is incompletely known. Method We measured plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) IL-8, as well as the genotype frequency of a single nucleotide polymorphism (-251A/T, rs4073) in the promoter region of the IL8 gene, in suicide attempters (n = 206) and healthy controls (n = 578). Results Plasma and CSF levels of IL-8 were significantly lower in suicide attempters with anxiety than in healthy controls. IL-8 in both plasma and CSF correlated negatively with symptoms of anxiety. Compared with the population-based cohort, the IL-8-251T allele was more prevalent among female suicide attempters. Furthermore, suicide attempters carrying this allele showed more severe anxiety. This correlative study warrants further mechanistic studies on the effects of IL-8 in the central nervous system. Conclusion We suggest that IL-8 might be involved in the biological mechanisms mediating resilience to anxiety. Thus, our findings highlight the chemokine IL-8 as a potential target for future development of anti-anxiety treatments and suicide prevention.

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