Peripheral Biomarkers of Inflammation in Depression: Evidence from Animal Models and Clinical Studies

  • J. P. Brás
  • S. Pinto
  • M. I. Almeida
  • J. Prata
  • O. von Doellinger
  • R. Coelho
  • M. A. Barbosa
  • S. G. SantosEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2011)


Depression is a highly prevalent psychiatric condition, with over 300 million sufferers, and is an important comorbidity for other conditions, like cardiovascular disorders or diabetes. Therapy is largely based on psychotherapy and/or pharmacological intervention, particularly aimed at altering neurotransmitter levels in the central nervous system, but inadequate response to treatment remains a significant clinical problem. Herein, evidence supporting a molecular link between inflammation and depression will be discussed, particularly the increased prevalence of depression in chronic inflammatory diseases and the evidence on the use of anti-inflammatory drugs to treat depression. Moreover, the potential for the levels of peripheral inflammatory molecules to act as depression biomarkers, in the diagnosis and monitoring of depression will be examined, considering clinical- and animal model-based evidence.

Key words

Depression Inflammation Biomarkers Animal models Clinical evidence 



This work was supported by the project (NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000012), funded by Norte Portugal Regional Operational Programme (NORTE 2020), under the PORTUGAL 2020 Partnership Agreement, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). JPB and MIA are funded by doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships (PD/BD/135490/2018; SFRH/BPD/91011/2012), from FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia. JPB would also like to thank the BiotechHealth PhD program.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. Brás
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • S. Pinto
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • M. I. Almeida
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Prata
    • 1
    • 4
    • 6
  • O. von Doellinger
    • 1
    • 4
    • 7
  • R. Coelho
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • M. A. Barbosa
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • S. G. Santos
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.i3S-Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em SaúdeUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.INEB-Instituto de Engenharia BiomédicaUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.ICBAS-Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel SalazarUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  4. 4.FMUP-Faculty of MedicineUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  5. 5.Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Mental HealthCentro Hospitalar Universitário São JoãoPortoPortugal
  6. 6.Department of Psychiatry and Mental HealthCentro Hospitalar Vila Nova de Gaia/EspinhoVila Nova de GaiaPortugal
  7. 7.Department of Psychiatry and Mental HealthCentro Hospitalar do Tâmega e SousaPenafielPortugal

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