Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 217–223 | Cite as

Immunity and depression: Insomnia, Retardation, and reduction of natural killer cell activity

  • Heidi Cover
  • Michael Irwin


Depressed patients show a reduction of natural killer (NK) cell activity which may be associated with specific depressive symptoms. The present study demonstrated that sleep disturbance and retardation, but not other depressive symptoms, were negatively correlated with NK activity in 38 depressed patients. Specific behavioral changes in depression such as sleep disturbance and retardation were found to predict 16% of the variance of cytotoxicity levels in depression.

Key Words

psychoneuroimmunology depression immunity insomnia natural killer cell activity 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heidi Cover
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael Irwin
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CaliforniaSan Diego
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, 9116-AVA Medical CenterSan Diego

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