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Current understanding of the bi-directional relationship of major depression with inflammation

Messay, Berhane and Lim, Alvin and Marsland, Anna L (2012) Current understanding of the bi-directional relationship of major depression with inflammation. Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders, 2 (4).

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Consistent evidence links major depression and its affective components to negative health outcomes. Although the pathways of these effects are likely complex and multifactorial, recent evidence suggests that innate inflammatory processes may play a role. An overview of current literature suggests that pathways between negative moods and inflammation are bi-directional. Indeed, negative moods activate peripheral physiologic mechanisms that result in an up regulation of systemic levels of inflammation. Conversely, peripheral inflammatory mediators signal the brain to affect behavioral, affective and cognitive changes that are consistent with symptoms of major depressive disorder. It is likely that these pathways are part of a complex feedback loop that involves the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems and plays a role in the modulation of peripheral inflammatory responses to central and peripheral stimuli, in central responses to peripheral immune activation and in the maintenance of homeostatic balance. Further research is warranted to fully understand the role of central processes in this feedback loop, which likely contributes to the pathophysiology of mental and physical health.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Messay, Berhanebem67@pitt.eduBEM67
Lim, Alvin
Marsland, Anna Lmarsland@pitt.eduMARSLAND
Date: 28 February 2012
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders
Volume: 2
Number: 4
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1186/preaccept-14614937596285
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: depression, "negative, affect:, inflammation, inflammator, y, markers, cytokines
Official URL:
Article Type: Research Article
Additional Information: Competing interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Authors' contributions: BM conducted an up to date review of the relevant literature and wrote the initial draft of the manuscript. ALM edited the manuscript and made substantial revisions. AL read, contributed relevant research, and provided feedback on early and final versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2016 18:13
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2017 04:56


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