Higher IL-6 and IL-4 plasma levels in depressed elderly women are influenced by diabetes mellitus

Natália S. Dias, Antônio L. Teixeira, Breno S. Diniz, Erica L. Vieira, Bernardo de M. Viana, Izabela G. Barbosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study aimed at investigating a set of peripheral cytokines in elderly female patients with MDD, comparing them to controls, and assessing the potential influence of clinical comorbidities on inflammatory markers. Methods: Twenty-five elderly female patients diagnosed with MDD and 19 age-matched female controls were enrolled on this study. Plasma levels of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, IL-10, interferon (IFN)-γ and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were evaluated with commercially-available assays. Results: Elderly female patients with MDD exhibited higher plasma IL-6 and IL-4 levels when compared to controls. In a logistic regression model taking cytokine levels, comorbidities, and age into account, only type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) remained associated with MDD. Conclusion: Diabetes influences the association between MDD and higher levels of cytokines in elderly female patients. Future studies should take this evidence into account in order to mitigate confounding factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20220466
JournalTrends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
StatePublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Female
  • cytokines
  • diabetes mellitus
  • elderly
  • inflammation
  • major depressive disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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