Effets od antidepressants on cytokines in experimental studies
Cytokines play an important role as immunotransmitters and coordinate the activity of the endocrine, immune and neurotransmitter systems. The altered cytokine plasma levels have been found in some groups of depressed patients. Administration of proinfl ammatory cytokines (IL-1β, TNF-α) or unspecifi c stimulator of their synthesis – lipopolysaccharide produces in lab animals “sickness and depressive-like behavior”. These behavioral effects are attenuated by pretreatment with some antidepressants. Results of the investigation carried out on transgenic mice support suggestion that proinfl ammatory cytokines may be involved in pathogenesis of depressive symptoms. In majority of in vivo and ex vivo studies it has been observed that chronic administration of some antidepressants shifts peripheral balance between IL-1β, TNF-α and antiinfl ammatory cytokine – IL-10 towards the latter. Antiinfl ammatory and neuroprotective effects of various antidepressive drugs were confi rmed using cultured brain cells. Data from these in vitro studies indicate that antidepressants suppress IL-1β, TNF-α gene expression likely due to blockade of NFκ-B and p38 MAPK pathways. It is suggested that changes in cytokine networks might be of signifi - cance for antidepressive and/or analgesic action of antidepressants and may justify their use in therapy of neurological diseases accompanied by elevated levels of proinfl ammatory cytokines.