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Biomedical Reviews

Cytokines and neurotrophins in psychiatric disorders

Futoshi Shintani

Abstract

In addition to their immune cell origin and immunological effects, cytokines are produced by neuronal and glial cells and can influence nerve growth and plasticity. Likewise, in addition to their target tissue origin and neurotrophic effects, the neurotrophins nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor are secreted by immune cells and can promote immune cell growth and activity. Cytokines and neurotrophic factors are thus essential mediators in the complex network of neuroimmunoendocrine interactions. Psychiatric patients, as well as psychotropic drugs, can display abnormal expression of these molecules and their receptors. Such studies point to the potential contribution of both cytokines and neurotrophins to the neuropathology of certain psychiatric diseases. This article highlights the role played by the cytokines interleukin-1,-2,-3,-6 and by the neurotrophins nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the development of schizophrenia and depression.

Biomedical Reviews 1999; 10: 69-73.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14748/bmr.v10.9

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About The Author

Futoshi Shintani
Keio University School of Medicine
Japan

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