Neuroplastic changes in depression: a role for the immune system

Eyre, Harris, and Baune, Bernhard T. (2012) Neuroplastic changes in depression: a role for the immune system. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 37 (9). pp. 1397-1416.

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Abstract

Accumulating evidence suggests that there is a rich cross-talk between the neuroimmune system and neuroplasticity mechanisms under both physiological conditions and pathophysiological conditions in depression. Anti-neuroplastic changes which occur in depression include a decrease in proliferation of neural stem cells (NSCs), decreased survival of neuroblasts and immature neurons, impaired neurocircuitry (cortical-striatal-limbic circuits), reduced levels of neurotrophins, reduced spine density and dendritic retraction. Since both humoral and cellular immune factors have been implicated in neuroplastic processes, in this review we present a model suggesting that neuroplastic processes in depression are mediated through various neuroimmune mechanisms. The review puts forward a model in that both humoral and cellular neuroimmune factors are involved with impairing neuroplasticity under pathophysiological conditions such as depression. Specifically, neuroimmune factors including interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, CD4+CD25+T regulatory cells (T reg), self-specific CD4+T cells, monocyte-derived macrophages, microglia and astrocytes are shown to be vital to processes of neuroplasticity such as long-term potentiation (LTP), NSC survival, synaptic branching, neurotrophin regulation and neurogenesis. In rodent models of depression, IL-1, IL-6 and TNF are associated with reduced hippocampal neurogenesis; mechanisms which are associated with this include the stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK)/Janus Kinase (JNK) pathway, hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF)-1 alpha, JAK-Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (STAT) pathway, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/cAMP responsive element binding protein (CREB) pathway, Ras-MAPK, PI-3 kinase, IKK/nuclear factor (NF)-kappa B and TGF beta activated kinase-1 (TAK-1). Neuroimmunological mechanisms have an active role in the neuroplastic changes associated with depression. Since therapies in depression, including antidepressants (AD), omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and physical activity exert neuroplasticity-enhancing effects potentially mediated by neuroimmune mechanisms, the immune system might serve as a promising target for interventions in depression.

Item ID: 23546
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-3360
Keywords: neuroplasticity, depression, immune system, humoral, cellular, recovery, treatment
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 05:28
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1109 Neurosciences > 110999 Neurosciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 100%
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