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Cytokine gene variations associated with subsyndromal depressive symptoms in patients with breast cancer.

  • Author(s): Saad, Shanwell;
  • Dunn, Laura B;
  • Koetters, Theresa;
  • Dhruva, Anand;
  • Langford, Dale J;
  • Merriman, John D;
  • West, Claudia;
  • Paul, Steven M;
  • Cooper, Bruce;
  • Cataldo, Janine;
  • Hamolsky, Deborah;
  • Elboim, Charles;
  • Aouizerat, Bradley E;
  • Miaskowski, Christine
  • et al.


This study explored the relationships between variations in cytokines genes and depressive symptoms in a sample of patients who were assessed prior to and for six months following breast cancer surgery. Phenotypic differences between Resilient (n = 155) and Subsyndromal (n = 180) depressive symptom classes, as well as variations in cytokine genes were evaluated.


Patients were recruited prior to surgery and followed for six months. Growth mixture modeling was used to identify distinct latent classes based on Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale scores. Eighty-two single nucleotide polymorphisms and 35 haplotypes among 15 candidate cytokine genes were evaluated.


Patients in the Subsyndromal class were significantly younger, more likely to be married or partnered, and reported a significantly lower functional status. Variation in three cytokine genes (i.e., interferon gamma receptor 1 (IFNGR1 rs9376268), interleukin 6 (IL6 rs2069840), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFA rs1799964)), as well as age and functional status predicted membership in the Subsyndromal versus the Resilient class.


A variation in TNFA that was associated with Subsyndromal depressive symptoms in a sample of patients and their family caregivers was confirmed in this sample. Variations in cytokine genes may place these patients at higher risk for the development of Subsyndromal levels of depressive symptoms.

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