Interleukin-8 and depressive responses to an inflammatory challenge: secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-16364-3
Emerging evidence suggests that interleukin (IL)-8 has a protective role in the context of depression. Higher levels of IL-8 are associated with lower depressive symptom severity among depressed patients, and treatment-related increases in IL-8 correlate with a positive response in depressed patients. This study (a secondary analysis of a completed randomized controlled trial) aimed to examine whether higher levels of IL-8 mitigate increases in depressed mood in response to an experimental model of inflammation induced depression. Given epidemiologic relationships identified between IL-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)- α, and subsequent depression, levels of these pro-inflammatory cytokines were also explored as potential moderators of depressed mood response to endotoxin. Secondary analyses were completed on data from healthy adults (n = 114) who completed a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial in which participants were randomly assigned to receive either a single infusion of low-dose endotoxin (derived from Escherichia coli; 0.8 ng/kg of body weight) or placebo (same volume of 0.9% saline). IL-8, as well as IL-6 and TNF- α, were measured at baseline prior to infusion, and depressed mood and feelings of social disconnection were assessed approximately hourly. Baseline levels of IL-8, but not IL-6 or TNF-α, moderated depressed mood (β = - 0.274, p = .03) and feelings of social disconnection (β = - 0.307, p = .01) responses, such that higher baseline IL-8 was associated with less increase in depressed mood and feelings of social disconnection in the endotoxin, but not placebo, condition. IL-8 had threshold effects, in which highest quartile IL-8 (≥ 2.7 pg/mL) attenuated increases in depressed mood in response to endotoxin as compared to lower IL-8 quartiles (p = .02). These findings suggest that IL-8 may be a biological factor that mitigates risk of inflammation-associated depression. Clinical trials registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01671150, registration date 23/08/2012.