European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience

, Volume 245, Issue 3, pp 172–178

Immunoendocrine aspects of major depression

Relationships between plasma interleukin-6 and soluble interleukin-2 receptor, prolactin and cortisol
  • Michael Maes
  • Eugène Bosmans
  • Herbert Y. Meltzer
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/BF02193091

Cite this article as:
Maes, M., Bosmans, E. & Meltzer, H.Y. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Nuerosci (1995) 245: 172. doi:10.1007/BF02193091


Recently, a complete bidirectional circuit between the immune and neuroendocrine systems has been documented. Previous reports from this laboratory have shown that there are complex reciprocal relationships between immune and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis function in major depression. To further examine the immune-endocrine relationships, this study investigates plasma baseline cortisol and prolactin secretion in relation to plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6) and soluble IL-2 receptor (sIL-2R) levels in 34 healthy controls and 56 major depressed patients. There were significant positive correlations between IL-6 or sIL-2R and plasma cortisol in major depressed subjects and in the combined group of major depressed and healthy subjects. There were also significant positive correlations between plasma prolactin and sIL-2R concentrations in major depressed subjects and in the combined groups of normal and major depressed subjects.

Key words

DepressionPsychoimmunologyInterleukin-6Soluble interleukin-2 receptorProlactinCortisolPituitary

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Maes
    • 1
  • Eugène Bosmans
    • 3
  • Herbert Y. Meltzer
    • 2
  1. 1.CRC-MH, Department of PsychiatryAZ StuivenbergAntwerpBelgium
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryCase Western Reserve University, School of MedicineClevelandUSA
  3. 3.EurogeneticsTessenderloBelgium