Deakin University

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The Immune Profile of Major Dysmood Disorder: Proof of Concept and Mechanism Using the Precision Nomothetic Psychiatry Approach

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-22, 21:53 authored by Michael Maes, M Rachayon, K Jirakran, P Sodsai, S Klinchanhom, P Gałecki, A Sughondhabirom, A Basta-Kaim
Major depressive disorder and a major depressive episode (MDD/MDE) are characterized by activation of the immune-inflammatory response system (IRS) and the compensatory immune-regulatory system (CIRS). In MDD/MDE, recent precision nomothetic psychiatry studies discovered a new endophenotype class, namely major dysmood disorder (MDMD), a new pathway phenotype, namely reoccurrence of illness (ROI), and a new model of the phenome of depression. The aim of the present study is to examine the association between ROI, the phenome of depression, and MDMD’s features and IRS, CIRS, macrophages (M1), T helper (Th)1, Th2, Th17, T regulatory, and growth factor (GF) profiles. Culture supernatants of unstimulated and stimulated (5 µg/mL of PHA and 25 µg/mL of LPS) diluted whole blood of 30 MDD/MDE patients and 20 controls were assayed for cytokines/GF using the LUMINEX assay. MDMD was characterized by increased M1, Th1, Th2, Th17, Treg, IRS, CIRS, neurotoxicity, and GF profiles. Factor analysis shows that ROI features and immune-GF profiles may be combined into a new pathway phenotype (an extracted latent vector). ROI, lifetime and recent suicidal behaviors, and severity of depression are significantly associated with immunotoxicity and GF profiles. Around 80.0% of the variance in the phenome is predicted by ROI and neurotoxicity or the IRS/CIRS ratio. The molecular pathways underpinning ROI-associated sensitization of immune/growth networks are transmembrane receptor protein kinase-triggered STAT protein phosphorylation, TLR/NF-κB, JAK-STAT, and the main proliferation/survival PI3K/Akt/RAS/MAPK pathway. In conclusion, MDMD’s heightened immune responses are the consequence of ROI-associated sensitization combined with immunostimulatory triggers.