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Inflammatory cytokines and glutaminergic excitotoxicity in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 March 2020

S. Gnanavel*
Affiliation:
St Mary's Hospital, CAMHS, Department of Psychiatry, Kettering, United Kingdom
A. Parmar
Affiliation:
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Psychiatry, New Delhi, India
P. Sharan
Affiliation:
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Psychiatry, New Delhi, India
V. Subbiah
Affiliation:
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Neurobiochemistry, New Delhi, India
U. Sharma
Affiliation:
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, NMR and MRI Facility, New Delhi, India
N.R. Jagannathan
Affiliation:
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, NMR and MRI Facility, New Delhi, India
*
*Corresponding author.
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Abstract

Introduction

In vitro studies have demonstrated possible neuroprotective effects of the following pro-inflammatory cytokines: IL-6, IL-1β and TNF-α against glutaminergic excitotoxicity in brain through different pathways.

Objectives

In the current study, we aim to correlate level of the above pro-inflammatory cytokines in serum with glutamate levels in head of caudate nucleus measured using Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (1H-MRS) in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a neuropsychiatric illness with possible multifactorial aetiology including immunological and excitotoxic factors.

Method

Thirty psychotropic-naïve patients with OCD and an equal number of gender and age-matched normal controls were recruited in the study. A detailed psychiatric assessment was carried out including sociodemographic and clinical variables. A 3T MR imaging and spectroscopy session was carried out in head of caudate nucleus. Further, absolute quantification of glutamate level was obtained using LC model. Simultaneously, 5 mL of blood sample was collected and assayed for the above pro-inflammatory cytokines (Siemens, Immulite™). The level of glutamate was correlated with the cytokine levels in patients with OCD.

Results

The level of Glx was significantly higher in patients with OCD as compared to controls (P < 0.05). The Glx level negatively correlated with two of the three pro-inflammatory cytokines: IL-6 and TNF-α (r = −0.807; r = −0.838; P < 0.05) while no significant correlation was demonstrated with IL-1β.

Conclusions

The findings provide preliminary evidence regarding possible neuroprotective effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines against glutaminergic excitotoxicity in patients with OCD. Further studies including patients with other psychiatric illnesses as controls are required for confirmation of the above findings.

Disclosure of interest

The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.

Type
FC55
Copyright
Copyright © European Psychiatric Association 2016

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