Depression, Hormones and Immunity

  • Ziad Kronfol
  • Janet Schlechte


The last decade or two have witnessed a sharp and steady increase in research and interest in the affective disorders. Clinically, major depressive illness has been delineated from other psychiatric disorders with depressed mood and clinical subtypes of depression have been proposed to reflect the heterogeneity among subgroups of depression. In addition to descriptive and clinical criteria, subtypes of depression have also been differentiated by biological markers such as sleep electroencephalography (EEG) records (1), urinary 3-methoxy-4-hydroxy phenylglycol (MHPG) excretion (2), cerebrospinal fluid 5-hydroxyindol acetic acid (HIAA) concentrations (3) and the dexamethasone suppression test (DST) (4). Particularly relevant to the theme of this book are studies in neuroendocrine and immune regulation in depression. In this chapter we will first summarize major advances in the study of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity in the depressive disorders, then review some of the preliminary work in the immunology of depression.


Depressed Patient Corticotropin Release Factor Natural Killer Cell Activity Cortisol Secretion Plasma ACTH 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ziad Kronfol
    • 1
  • Janet Schlechte
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of PsychiatryUniversity of Iowa College of MedicineIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.Internal MedicineUniversity of Iowa College of MedicineIowa CityUSA

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