Plasma levels of IL-23 and IL-17 before and after antidepressant treatment in patients with major depressive disorder

Jae Won Kim, Yong Ku Kim, Jung A. Hwang, Ho Kyoung Yoon, Young Hoon Ko, Changsu Han, Heon Jeong Lee, Byung Joo Ham, Hong Seock Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Cytokines are believed to have a role in the pathophysiology of major depression. The alteration in levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines [interleukin 1β (IL-1β), IL-2, IL-6, IL-12, interferon γ, and tumor necrosis factor α] in major depression supports the cytokine hypothesis of this illness. IL-23 and IL-17 are also pro-inflammatory cytokines, but few studies have focused on their role in major depression. This study investigated the potential role of the IL-23 and IL-17 axis in major depression. Methods Plasma IL-23 and IL-17 levels were measured in 26 major depressive disorder (MDD) patients before and after 6-week treatment with antidepressants; these levels were measured in 28 age and sex-matched normal controls. Depression severity was assessed using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). IL-23 and IL-17 plasma levels were estimated using quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results Pre-treatment plasma levels of IL-23 and IL-17 in MDD patients were not significantly different from those of normal controls. In MDD patients, IL-23 and IL-17 levels after 6 weeks of antidepressant treatment were not different from the baseline levels. There was no significant correlation between changes in the cytokine levels and changes in the HDRS scores representing the severity of depression. Conclusion The present study does not support a potential involvement of IL-23 and IL-17 axis in major depression. Replication and extension using a larger sample are required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-299
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Investigation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sept


  • Cytokine
  • IL-17
  • IL-23
  • Immune
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Th17 cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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