Decreased Blood Levels of Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha in Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive DisorderMonteleone P. · Catapano F. · Fabrazzo M. · Tortorella A. · Maj M.
Institute of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Naples SUN, Naples, Italy
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To investigate immune system function in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) we measured plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in 14 drug-free obsessive-compulsive patients and 14 matched healthy controls. No significant differences were observed between patients and controls in plasma levels of IL-1β and IL-6, whereas plasma levels of TNF-α were significantly lower (p = 0.001) in the former. Blood levels of prolactin did not differ between the two groups, whereas plasma cortisol concentrations were significantly higher in patients than in healthy subjects (p = 0.02). No significant correlation was found between immune parameters, on the one hand, and endocrine or psychopathological measures on the other. These results suggest that OCD is associated with a decreased production in TNF-α, but normal synthesis of IL-1β and IL-6.
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