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Inflammation-Associated Depression: Evidence, Mechanisms and Implications

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Cover of 'Inflammation-Associated Depression: Evidence, Mechanisms and Implications'

Table of Contents

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    Book Overview
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    Chapter 2 Evidence for Inflammation-Associated Depression
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    Chapter 5 Suicidality and Activation of the Kynurenine Pathway of Tryptophan Metabolism.
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    Chapter 6 Role of the Kynurenine Metabolism Pathway in Inflammation-Induced Depression: Preclinical Approaches.
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    Chapter 7 Depression in Autoimmune Diseases.
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    Chapter 12 Role of Kynurenine Metabolism Pathway Activation in Major Depressive Disorders.
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    Chapter 13 The Role of Dopamine in Inflammation-Associated Depression: Mechanisms and Therapeutic Implications
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    Chapter 14 Role of Inflammation in the Development of Neuropsychiatric Symptom Domains: Evidence and Mechanisms.
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    Chapter 19 Are Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Clinically Suitable for the Treatment of Symptoms in Depression-Associated Inflammation?
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    Chapter 23 Mechanisms of Inflammation-Associated Depression: Immune Influences on Tryptophan and Phenylalanine Metabolisms.
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    Chapter 25 Stress-Induced Microglia Activation and Monocyte Trafficking to the Brain Underlie the Development of Anxiety and Depression.
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    Chapter 26 The Promise and Limitations of Anti-Inflammatory Agents for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder
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    Chapter 28 Inflammation-Associated Co-morbidity Between Depression and Cardiovascular Disease
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    Chapter 30 Brain Structures Implicated in Inflammation-Associated Depression
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    Chapter 31 Does Diet Matter? The Use of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) and Other Dietary Supplements in Inflammation-Associated Depression.
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    Chapter 37 Immune-to-Brain Communication Pathways in Inflammation-Associated Sickness and Depression
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    Chapter 40 Inflammation Effects on Brain Glutamate in Depression: Mechanistic Considerations and Treatment Implications.
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    Chapter 43 Role of Neuro-Immunological Factors in the Pathophysiology of Mood Disorders: Implications for Novel Therapeutics for Treatment Resistant Depression.
Attention for Chapter 12: Role of Kynurenine Metabolism Pathway Activation in Major Depressive Disorders.
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Chapter title
Role of Kynurenine Metabolism Pathway Activation in Major Depressive Disorders.
Chapter number 12
Book title
Inflammation-Associated Depression: Evidence, Mechanisms and Implications
Published in
Current topics in behavioral neurosciences, May 2016
DOI 10.1007/7854_2016_12
Pubmed ID
Book ISBNs
978-3-31-951151-1, 978-3-31-951152-8

Jonathan Savitz


Robert Dantzer, Lucile Capuron


A proportion of depressed individuals show evidence of inflammation. Both animal, quasi-experimental, and longitudinal studies indicate that inflammatory processes may play a causal role in the developmental of depressive illness. While there may be multiple causal pathways through which inflammatory processes affect mood, activation of the kynurenine pathway is essential for the development of depression-like behavior in rodents. Studies of hepatitis C or cancer patients receiving treatment with inflammation-inducing medications show increased activation of the kynurenine pathway and decreased levels of tryptophan that correlate with inflammation-induced depression. Further, this treatment has been shown to lead to increased production of neurotoxic kynurenine pathway metabolites such as quinolinic acid (QA). Similarly, in non-medically ill patients with major depression, multiple studies have found activation of the kynurenine pathway and/or preferential activation of the neurotoxic (QA) pathway at the expense of the production of the NMDA antagonist, kynurenic acid. Initially, activation of the kynurenine pathway was believed to precipitate depressive symptoms by depleting brain serotonin, however, the weight of the evidence now suggests that an imbalance between neurotoxic and neuroprotective metabolites may be the principal driver of depression; conceivably via its effects on glutamatergic neurotransmission.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 78 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 2 3%
Unknown 76 97%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 16 21%
Student > Master 12 15%
Researcher 10 13%
Student > Bachelor 8 10%
Student > Doctoral Student 7 9%
Other 9 12%
Unknown 16 21%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Neuroscience 17 22%
Psychology 7 9%
Medicine and Dentistry 7 9%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 5 6%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 5 6%
Other 14 18%
Unknown 23 29%