Interleukin-1beta serum levels is increased in antidepressant-free elderly depressed patients

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2010 Feb;18(2):172-6. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181c2947f.


Objective: To assess the serum levels of interleukin 1beta (IL-1beta) in elderly depressed patients in comparison with nondepressed healthy elderly subjects.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Tertiary memory clinic.

Participants: Twenty-three antidepressant-free elderly depressed patients and 44 nondepressed healthy elderly comparison group were enrolled to this study.

Measurement: Serum IL-1beta levels were determined with highly sensitive colorimetric sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Severity of the depressive episode was determined by scores on the Hamilton Depression Scale-21 item and cognitive performance by the scores on the Cambridge Cognition Examination, Mini Mental State Examination clock drawing test, and verbal fluency.

Results: IL-1beta serum levels were increased in elderly patients versus nondepressed elderly (t = 2.21, df = 65, p = 0.04). After categorizing elderly depressed subjects into late onset (LOD) versus early onset (EOD), patients with EOD had the highest IL-1beta levels, when compared with nondepressed elderly patients and patients with LOD in analysis of variance (F = 4.9, df = 2, 64, p <0.01).

Conclusions: Late-life depression is associated with higher IL-1beta levels suggesting that increased proinflammatory state may play a role in the physiopathology of depression in the elderly. The authors further show that this might be more prominent in those patients with EOD geriatric depression.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Aging / blood*
  • Cognition
  • Depression / blood*
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1beta / blood*
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Interleukin-1beta