Immune Function in Pregnant Women with Affective Disorders

ISSN: 1875-6441 (Online)
ISSN: 1573-4005 (Print)

Volume 13, 4 Issues, 2017

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Current Psychiatry Reviews

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Michael E. Thase
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
3535 Market St, Suite 670
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Immune Function in Pregnant Women with Affective Disorders

Current Psychiatry Reviews, 10(3): 258-273.

Author(s): Norma Galindo-Sevilla, Philippe Leff Gelman, Carlos Cruz Fuentes, Armando Cordova Barrios, Javier Mancilla-Ramirez, Alicia Ramírez-Ramírez and Monica Flores-Ramos.

Affiliation: Soledad 25-2, Colonia Florida, 01030, México D.F.


Perinatal depression is an emerging field with questions that remain to be answered, including the underlying pathogenesis, treatment and counseling. Pregnant women with depression represent a serious risk to themselves due to negative fetal/obstetrical and neonatal outcomes and to their child with respect to development later in life. The immune system plays a crucial role in major depression disorder (MDD), and studies indicate that both immune mediators (cytokines, chemokines) and neuroendocrine hormones cross-talk in MDD. However, the innate immune system is an unexplored field, and its link with prenatal depression has not been fully explored. The innate immune system is tightly regulated during early implantation and placentation of the conceptus, and such regulation is crucial for a successful pregnancy. T lymphocytes, which comprise helper T lymphocytes (Th), and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), have been shown to be abundant at the fetomaternal interface together with the recruitment of different subsets of immune cells [Natural Killer cells (NK), Dendritic cells (DCs), Macrophages (MΦs)] during decidualization of the endometrium. Pregnancy is considered to be an inflammatory process in which a Th2 over a Th1 immune response is critical for allowing the development of the fetal allograft. Stressful stimuli and prenatal infections have been shown to deregulate the Th1/Th2 balance and are associated with increased production of proinflammatory cytokines and modification of neonatal immune responses via toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling. The innate immune system could represent a new frontier in exploring the etiology of several mental disorders, as suggested for schizophrenia. However, it is not clear how the innate immune system cross-talks with the fetal brain during perinatal depression.


Depression, immune cells, innate immune system, pregnancy, stress hormones.

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Article Details

Volume: 10
Issue Number: 3
First Page: 258
Last Page: 273
Page Count: 16
DOI: 10.2174/1573400509666131217010344
Price: $58

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