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Neuroendocrine and Inflammatory Effects of Childhood Trauma Following Psychosocial and Inflammatory Stress in Women with Remitted Major Depressive Disorder

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Collaborative Antwerp Psychiatric Research Institute, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk 2610, Belgium
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University Department of Psychiatry, Campus Antwerp University Hospital, Edegem 2650, Belgium
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Department of Psychiatry, ZNA Hospitals, Antwerp, Antwerp 2060, Belgium
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StatUa Center for Statistics, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk 2610, Belgium
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University Department of Psychiatry, Campus Psychiatric Hospital Duffel, Duffel 2570, Belgium
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Janssen Research & Development, Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V., Beerse 2340, Belgium
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University Psychiatric Centre KU Leuven, Kortenberg 3070, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(12), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9120375
Received: 11 November 2019 / Revised: 7 December 2019 / Accepted: 10 December 2019 / Published: 13 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroimmunology of Major Psychiatric Disorders)
The dysregulation of the inflammatory and neuroendocrine systems seen in major depressive disorder (MDD) may persist after remission and this is associated with a higher risk of relapse. This vulnerable subgroup may be characterized by a history of childhood trauma. In a single-blind randomized placebo-controlled crossover study, 21 women with remitted recurrent MDD and 18 healthy controls were exposed to psychosocial stress (Trier social stress test) or inflammatory stress (typhoid vaccine), or both, to investigate the effects of childhood trauma on the neuroendocrine and inflammatory responses. Childhood trauma was assessed using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire and participants were dichotomized into a traumatized and non-traumatized group. Serum adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, interferon (IFN)-γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and interleukin (IL)-6 were measured at regular intervals after each intervention. The effects of trauma, time, and intervention on these parameters were modeled by fitting linear mixed models. Childhood trauma in itself did not have a main effect on the outcome measurements. However, an interactional effect of trauma with stressor type was found in the remitted MDD group: trauma was associated with higher cortisol levels only after adding immunological to psychosocial stress, and with lower TNF-α levels in response to vaccination. This suggests the existence of a vulnerable trauma-associated MDD endophenotype. View Full-Text
Keywords: “Child Abuse” [Mesh]; “Depressive Disorder” [Mesh]; “Pituitary-Adrenal System” [Mesh]; inflammation; psychosocial stress; vulnerability “Child Abuse” [Mesh]; “Depressive Disorder” [Mesh]; “Pituitary-Adrenal System” [Mesh]; inflammation; psychosocial stress; vulnerability
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Cassiers, L.L.; Niemegeers, P.; Fransen, E.; Morrens, M.; De Boer, P.; Van Nueten, L.; Claes, S.; Sabbe, B.G.; Van Den Eede, F. Neuroendocrine and Inflammatory Effects of Childhood Trauma Following Psychosocial and Inflammatory Stress in Women with Remitted Major Depressive Disorder. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 375.

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