A cytokine study of adult patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder

Leonardo F. Fontenelle, Izabela Guimarães Barbosa, Juliano Victor Luna, Lirlândia Pires De Sousa, Mery Natali Silva Abreu, Antonio Lucio Teixeira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Objectives: We aimed to determine the plasma levels of cytokines in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as compared with healthy controls and to investigate whether there is any association between their concentrations and OCD clinical and therapeutic features. Methods: Forty patients with OCD and 40 healthy controls had their plasmas assessed for a range of cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α, or TNF-α), chemokines (CCL2, CCL3, CCL11, CCL24, CXCL8, CXCL9, CXCL10), and other mediators (TNF soluble receptors sTNFR1 and sTNFR2 and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Patients with OCD were further examined with the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview, the Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-Revised, and the Beck Depression Inventory. Results: Compared with healthy controls, patients with OCD exhibited significantly increased plasma levels of CCL3, CXCL8, sTNFR1, and sTNFR2. Among patients with OCD, there was a positive correlation between relative antidepressant dose and sTNFr2 levels. Furthermore, although the levels of sTNFR1 correlated positively with the severity of washing symptoms, CCL24 levels correlated negatively with the severity of hoarding. Conclusions: The levels of certain immune markers are increased in adult patients with OCD and seem to vary according to predominant symptoms dimensions. Other studies are required to establish whether our findings truly reflect immunologic dysfunction in OCD or are the result of other hidden confounding factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-804
Number of pages8
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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