Antidepressants augment natural killer cell activity: In vivo and in vitro

Matthew G. Frank, Shelton E. Hendricks, Donald R. Johnson, Julie L. Wieseler, William J. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Depressed mood has been associated with reduced natural killer cell activity (NKCA). Further, amelioration of depressive symptoms by pharmacotherapy has resulted in augmented NKCA. Serotonin, an indoleamine implicated in the pathophysiology of affective disorders, enhances NKCA in vitro and lymphocytes possess serotonin transporters and receptors. The present study evaluated NKCA in depressed outpatients before and during treatment with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine (Prozac®). Further, the SSRIs, fluoxetine and paroxetine (Paxil®), were also incubated in vitro with lymphoid cells to evaluate possible direct effects of SSRIs on NKCA. Depressed outpatients were administered fluoxetine (20 mg/day) for 4 weeks. NKCA and severity of depression were evaluated at weeks 0, 1, 2, and 4. Serum concentrations of fluoxetine and norfluoxetine were obtained as well. Mononuclear cells obtained from nonpatient volunteers were incubated with pharmacologic concentrations of fluoxetine or paroxetine and NKCA measured with a standard chromium release assay. Fluoxetine treatment resulted in decreased symptoms of depression and increased serum concentrations of fluoxetine and norfluoxetine. Further, fluoxetine treatment was associated with augmented NKCA in a subgroup of depressed outpatients exhibiting low NKCA at baseline. Fluoxetine had no effect on NKCA in depressed individuals exhibiting high NKCA at baseline. Incubation of mononuclear cells with fluoxetine and paroxetine augmented NKCA in vitro. The enhancing effects of antidepressants on NKCA in vivo and in vitro indicate a possible direct drug interaction with lymphoid cells during pharmacotherapy, suggesting that pharmacologic treatment of depression may result in enhanced immune competence as indexed by enhanced NKCA and that NKCA could be pharmacologically augmented with antidepressants in individuals with compromised immune function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-24
Number of pages7
JournalNeuropsychobiology
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 25 1999

Fingerprint

Natural Killer Cells
Antidepressive Agents
Fluoxetine
Paroxetine
Depression
Outpatients
In Vitro Techniques
Lymphocytes
Drug Therapy
Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
Serotonin Receptors
Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
Chromium
Therapeutics
Serum
Mood Disorders
Drug Interactions
Mental Competency
Volunteers
Serotonin

Keywords

  • Antidepressants
  • Depression
  • Fluoxetine
  • Natural killer cell activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

Cite this

Frank, M. G., Hendricks, S. E., Johnson, D. R., Wieseler, J. L., & Burke, W. J. (1999). Antidepressants augment natural killer cell activity: In vivo and in vitro. Neuropsychobiology, 39(1), 18-24. https://doi.org/10.1159/000026555

Antidepressants augment natural killer cell activity : In vivo and in vitro. / Frank, Matthew G.; Hendricks, Shelton E.; Johnson, Donald R.; Wieseler, Julie L.; Burke, William J.

In: Neuropsychobiology, Vol. 39, No. 1, 25.01.1999, p. 18-24.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Frank, MG, Hendricks, SE, Johnson, DR, Wieseler, JL & Burke, WJ 1999, 'Antidepressants augment natural killer cell activity: In vivo and in vitro', Neuropsychobiology, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 18-24. https://doi.org/10.1159/000026555
Frank MG, Hendricks SE, Johnson DR, Wieseler JL, Burke WJ. Antidepressants augment natural killer cell activity: In vivo and in vitro. Neuropsychobiology. 1999 Jan 25;39(1):18-24. https://doi.org/10.1159/000026555
Frank, Matthew G. ; Hendricks, Shelton E. ; Johnson, Donald R. ; Wieseler, Julie L. ; Burke, William J. / Antidepressants augment natural killer cell activity : In vivo and in vitro. In: Neuropsychobiology. 1999 ; Vol. 39, No. 1. pp. 18-24.
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