A study of chemokines, chemokine receptors and interleukin-6 in patients with panic disorder, personality disorders and their co-morbidity

Pharmacol Rep. 2016 Aug;68(4):756-63. doi: 10.1016/j.pharep.2016.03.017. Epub 2016 Apr 12.


Background: Stress may induce inflammatory changes in the immune system and activate pro-inflammatory cytokines and their receptors by activating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

Methods: 460 hospitalized patients with panic disorders (PD) and/or personality disorders (P) were studied. The study group comprised subjects with PD, avoidant personality disorder (APD), borderline personality disorder (BPD), obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), and concomitant (PD+APD; PD+BPD; PD+OCPD). Each study group consisted of 60 subjects (30 females and 30 males). The control group included 20 females and 20 males without any history of mental disorder. ELISA was used to assess the levels of chemokines: CCL-5/RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T-cell expressed and secreted), CXCL-12/SDF-1 (stromal derived factor), their receptors CXCR-5 (C-C chemokine receptor type-5), CXCR-4 (chemokine C-X-C motif receptor-4), and IL-6.

Results: Statistically significant differences in the levels of CCL-5 and CCR-5 were revealed between all study groups. The greatest differences were found between the groups with PD+OCPD and PD+APD. Moreover, concomitance of PD with P significantly increased the level of chemokines and their receptors in all study groups versus the subjects with P alone.

Conclusions: The results of the study show differences between the groups. To be specific, inflammatory markers were more elevated in the study groups than the controls. Therefore, chemokines and chemokine receptors may be used as inflammatory markers in patients with PD co-existent with P to indicate disease severity. PD was found to be a factor in maintaining inflammatory activity in the immune system in patients with P.

Keywords: Chemokines; Panic disorders; Personality disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chemokines / blood*
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Panic Disorder / blood*
  • Panic Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Personality Disorders / blood*
  • Personality Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Poland / epidemiology
  • Receptors, Chemokine / blood*


  • Chemokines
  • Interleukin-6
  • Receptors, Chemokine