Publications & Posters

Plasma Levels Of Interleukin 18 But Not Amyloid-beta Or Tau Are Elevated In Female Depressive Patients.


Liu FR, Yang LY, Zheng HF, Zhou Y, Chen BB, Xu H, Zhang YW and Shen DY.

Comprehensive Psychiatry. 2020;97:152159




Depression is associated with inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, detailed molecular mechanisms linking mood, neuroinflammation and AD remain unclear. Although changes in peripheral inflammatory factors such as Interleukin 18 (IL18), and AD-associated amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides have been linked to depression, a solid relationship between these factors in depressive disorder has yet to be established. This study aims to further determine whether plasma IL18, Aβ40, Aβ42, and the AD-associated tangle component Tau, as well as IL18 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may be biomarkers for depression.


We measured plasma IL18, Aβ40, Aβ42, and Tau in 64 depressive patients and 75 healthy controls, and characterized genotypes of three IL18 SNPs (rs187238, rs1946518 and rs1946519) in these subjects. Comparisons between depressive patients and controls were carried out in males, in females or in combination. Regression analyses were conducted to examine the correlation between these parameters.


We found that none of the plasma levels of IL18, Aβ40, Aβ42, and Tau, the ratio of Aβ42/Aβ40, and the genotypes of IL18 SNPs were significantly different between combined depressive patients and combined healthy controls, or between male depressive patients and male controls. However, IL18 levels were less in females than in males in healthy people and were significantly increased in female depressive patients compared to female controls. Moreover, IL18 and standardized IL18 were correlated with standardized Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio and standardized Tau in depressive patients.


Plasma IL18 may be a potential biomarker for depression in women.