MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Do antidepressants enhance immune function?

Back to psychology news Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Psychology News RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Do antidepressants enhance immune function?




Infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), is an epidemic of global concern. As per the most recent estimates, released in November 2007, by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 33.2 million worldwide are living with HIV infection currently. Eventhough the rates of infection appear to be decreasing, there are obviously immense implications for achieving improvements in HIV/AIDS therapy.



Do antidepressants enhance immune function?

The functioning of natural killer (NK) cells, which are a major element of the innate immunity system and are involved in the bodys first line of defense against infections such as HIV, is decreased in both HIV and depression. A group of scientists who have previously observed that stress and depression impair NK cell function and accelerate the course of HIV/AIDS are now publishing a new report in the May 1st issue of Biological Psychiatry.

In this study, they recruited both depressed and non-depressed HIV-infected women and studied the ex vivo effects of three drugs, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a substance P antagonist, and a glucocorticoid antagonist, on their NK cell activity. These drugs were selected because, as the authors state, each affect[s] underlying regulatory systems that have been extensively investigated in both stress and depression research as well as immune and viral research. The researchers observed that the SSRI citalopram, and the substance P antagonist CP 96,345, but not the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU486, increased NK cell activity. As per Dr. Dwight Evans, corresponding author of the article: The present findings provide evidence that natural killer cell function in HIV infection may be enhanced by selective serotonin reuptake inhibition and also by substance P antagonism in both depressed and non-depressed individuals.

John H. Krystal, M.D., Editor of Biological Psychiatry and affiliated with both Yale University School of Medicine and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, comments: There has been growing evidence that the compromise of immune function linked to depression influences the outcomes of infectious diseases and cancer. Antidepressant therapys are beginning to be studied for their potential positive effects on immune function. He adds that the paper by Evans et al. suggests that antidepressant therapy may have positive effects on natural killer cell activity in cells isolated from individuals infected with HIV with and without depression. This type of bridge between the brain and the rest of the body deserves further attention. Dr. Evans agrees, noting that these findings begin to pave the way towards initiating clinical studies addressing the potential role of serotonergic agents and substance P antagonists in improving natural killer cell innate immunity, possibly delaying HIV disease progression and extending survival with HIV infection.


Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
Infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), is an epidemic of global concern. As per the most recent estimates, released in November 2007, by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 33.2 million worldwide are living with HIV infection currently. Eventhough the rates of infection appear to be decreasing, there are obviously immense implications for achieving improvements in HIV/AIDS therapy.

Medicineworld.org: Do antidepressants enhance immune function?

Acute bacterial meningitis| Alzheimer's disease| Carpal tunnel syndrome| Cerebral aneurysms| Cerebral palsy| Chronic fatigue syndrome| Cluster headache| Dementia| Epilepsy seizure disorders| Febrile seizures| Guillain barre syndrome| Head injury| Hydrocephalus| Neurology| Insomnia| Low backache| Mental retardation| Migraine headaches| Multiple sclerosis| Myasthenia gravis| Neurological manifestations of aids| Parkinsonism parkinson's disease| Personality disorders| Sleep disorders insomnia| Syncope| Trigeminal neuralgia| Vertigo|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.