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Cytoimmunological changes and treatment response in major depression
In major depressive disorder (MDD), both, alterations in cellular and in functional immunological parameters have been described. We here examined the phenotype and differentiation status of immune cells in patients with MDD and focused on these cytoimmunological parameters in the course of a 6-week antidepressive treatment. Relevant changes were detected with a FACS (Fluorescent-Associated-Cell-Sorting) approach and the amount of CD3+-, CD4+-, CD14+-, CD19+- and CD69+-cells was quantified with regard to the treatment response. A biphasic response before and after the first 3 to 4 weeks of treatment was primarily pronounced in responders. However, significant reaction differences between non-responders and responders were only detectable in CD19+- and CD14+/CD69+-cells. Thus, our data show that cytoimmunological parameters are indeed related to the psychopathological course of MDD. In connection with additional data from our and other groups, these results point to an involvement of the monocytic cell type in the therapy response of MDD.