>Also, would you know of ongoing studies assessing IL-1ra in humans, alone or as an adjunct, in treating depression?
Thanks for your interest in the paper. The dose of endotoxin that we used (0.8 ng/kg) produced mild
symptoms of overt illness, including low fever (0.5-1 degree), cortisol elevation and mild
headache and muscle pain (mainly at 2, but not at 4 or 9 hr post-injection).
Thus, some of the psychological findings seem to be dissociated from
the clinical symptoms.
I do not know of any experiment with IL-1ra in depressed patients. I discussed this idea with Steve Maier a few years ago,
but so far nothing came out of it. I should emphasize that IL-1ra by itself may not be an effective antidepressant since if
there is some source of immune/stress-like cytokinergic activation in depressed patients it
is probably mediated by several cytokines in addition to IL-1. As you show in your
research, and as we find in our recent studies, cytokines probably act in a synergistic and
complementary manner. Thus, compounds with a more general cytokine-suppressing
activity may be needed to alleviate immune-associated depression.