Aberrant inflammatory profile in acute but not recovered anorexia nervosa

Brain Behav Immun. 2020 Aug:88:718-724. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2020.05.024. Epub 2020 May 7.


Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a severe psychiatric disorder with high mortality and relapse rates. Even though changes in inflammatory markers and cytokines are known to accompany cachexia associated with somatic disorders such as cancer and chronic kidney disorder, studies on inflammatory markers in AN are rare and typically include few individuals. Here, we utilize an Olink Proteomics inflammatory panel to explore the concentrations of 92 preselected inflammation-related proteins in plasma samples from women with active AN (N = 113), recovered from AN (AN-REC, N = 113), and normal weight healthy controls (N = 114). After correction for multiple testing, twenty-five proteins differed significantly between the AN group and controls (lower levels: ADA, CCL19, CD40, CD5, CD8A, CSF1, CXCL1, CXCL5, HGF, IL10RB, IL12B, 1L18R1, LAP TGFß1, MCP3, OSM, TGFα, TNFRSF9, TNFS14 and TRANCE; higher levels: CCL11, CCL25, CST5, DNER, LIFR and OPG). Although more than half of these differences (N = 15) were present in the comparison between AN and AN-REC, no significant differences were seen between AN-REC and controls. Furthermore, twenty-five proteins correlated positively with BMI (ADA, AXIN1, CASP8, CD5, CD40, CSF1, CXCL1, CXCL5, EN-RAGE, HGF, IL6, IL10RB, IL12B, IL18, IL18R1, LAP TGFß1, OSM, SIRT2, STAMBP, TGFα, TNFRSF9, TNFS14, TRANCE, TRAIL and VEGFA) and four proteins correlated negatively with BMI (CCL11, CCL25, CCL28 and DNER). These results suggest that a dysregulated inflammatory status is associated with AN, but, importantly, seem to be confined to the acute illness state.

Keywords: Anorexia nervosa; Cytokines; Inflammation; Proteomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anorexia Nervosa*
  • Biomarkers
  • Cachexia
  • Cytokines
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines