Lymphocyte mitogenesis, immunoglobulin and complement levels in depressed patients and normal controls

Z. Kronfol, J. D. House

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

110 Citations (Scopus)


The central nervous system and the immune system are closely related. Psychiatric illness is often associated with a dysregulation of the immune response. In an attempt to expand on previously reported immune abnormalities in patients with depressive illness, we compared several immune measures in a group of hospitalized depressed patients and healthy normal controls. Depressed patients had significantly higher percentages of circulating neutrophils, significantly lower percentages of circulating lymphocytes and significantly lower in vitro lymphocyte responses to mitogenic stimulation than normal controls. Basal plasma cortisol and circulating levels of the complement components C3 and C4 were also higher in the depressed group. We also found a significant association between cortisol values and the traffic of leukocytes on the one hand, and complement levels and the lymphocyte mitogenic activities on the other. These findings expand previously reported evidence of immune abnormalities in depressive illness and provide a partial explanation for some of these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-147
Number of pages6
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1989



  • affective disorder
  • complement
  • depression
  • immunity
  • lymphocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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