Psychiatry Investig.  2016 May;13(3):321-326. 10.4306/pi.2016.13.3.321.

Reduced Venous Blood Basophil Count and Anxious Depression in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Depression Center, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea. jeonhj@skku.edu
  • 2Bipolar Clinic and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
  • 3Department of Laboratory Medicine & Genetics, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 4Depression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
  • 5Departments of Health Sciences & Technology, Management & Research, Clinical Research Design & Evaluation, Samsung Advanced Institute for Health Sciences & Technology (SAIHST), Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Abstract


OBJECTIVE
Anxious depression has a distinct neurobiology, clinical course and treatment response from non-anxious depression. Role of inflammation in anxious depression has not been examined. As an exploratory study to characterize the role of inflammation on a development of anxious depression, we aimed to determine the relationship between white blood cell (WBC) subset counts and anxiety in individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD).
METHODS
A total of 709 patients who were newly diagnosed with MDD were recruited. Anxiety levels of participants were evaluated using the Anxiety/ Somatization subitem of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. The association between WBC subset fraction and anxiety was evaluated.
RESULTS
Basophil and eosinophil sub-fractions showed significant negative correlations with HAM-D anxiety/somatization factor scores (basophils: r=-0.092, p=0.014 and eosinophils: r=-0.075, p=0.046). When an anxiety score (a sum of somatic and psychic anxiety) was entered as a dependent variable, only basophils showed significant negative association with the anxiety scores after adjusting for all other WBC subset counts and demographic factors (t=-2.57, p=0.010).
CONCLUSION
This study showed that anxious depression had a decreased basophil subfraction, which might be associated with involvement of inflammation in development of anxious depression.

Keyword

Anxious depression; Basophil; Inflammation
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