Clinical response augments NK cell activity independent of treatment modality: A randomized double-blind placebo controlled antidepressant trial

Matthew G. Frank, S. E. Hendricks, W. J. Burke, D. R. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. Major depressive disorder (MDD) has been associated with alterations in immune function. Suppression of natural killer (NK) cell activity (NKCA) reliably characterizes immunological alterations observed in MDD. Antidepressant pharmacotherapy has been associated with modulation of NKCA. Previous investigations into antidepressant modulation of NKCA have not employed randomized double-blind placebo controlled designs. Thus, it is unknown whether treatment-associated changes in immune function are due to drug, placebo, or spontaneous remission effects. The present investigation examined the effect of antidepressant treatment on NKCA utilizing a randomized double-blind placebo controlled experimental design. Method. Patients (N=16) met DSM-IV criteria for MDD and were randomly assigned to drug (N=8, citalopram, 20mg/day) or placebo (N=8) under double-blind conditions. Severity and pattern of depressive symptoms were assessed by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). NK cell function was measured using a standard chromium-release assay and NK cell number assessed by flow cytometry. HDRS scores, NK cell function, and NK cell numbers were collected at 0, 1, 2 and 4 weeks of treatment. Results. Clinical response was associated with augmented NKCA independent of treatment condition. Failure to respond to treatment resulted in significantly reduced NKCA over treatment interval. Conclusions. The present results suggest that alterations in the depressive syndrome, regardless of therapeutic modality, may be sufficient to modulate NKCA during antidepressant trials and thus may significantly impact on co-morbid health outcomes in MDD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-498
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological medicine
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2004

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Natural Killer Cells
Antidepressive Agents
Placebos
Major Depressive Disorder
Therapeutics
Depression
Cell Count
Spontaneous Remission
Citalopram
Chromium
Depressive Disorder
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Flow Cytometry
Research Design
Drug Therapy
Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Clinical response augments NK cell activity independent of treatment modality : A randomized double-blind placebo controlled antidepressant trial. / Frank, Matthew G.; Hendricks, S. E.; Burke, W. J.; Johnson, D. R.

In: Psychological medicine, Vol. 34, No. 3, 01.04.2004, p. 491-498.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Frank, Matthew G. ; Hendricks, S. E. ; Burke, W. J. ; Johnson, D. R. / Clinical response augments NK cell activity independent of treatment modality : A randomized double-blind placebo controlled antidepressant trial. In: Psychological medicine. 2004 ; Vol. 34, No. 3. pp. 491-498.
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