Sex differences in depression: An immunological perspective

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Date
2023-05
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Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Pergamon-Elsevier
Abstract

Depression is a heterogenous disorder with symptoms that present differently across individuals. In a subset of people depression is associated with alterations of the immune system that may contribute to disorder onset and symptomology. Women are twice as likely to develop depression and on average have a more sensitive adaptive and innate immune system when compared to men. Sex differences in pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), release of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), cell populations, and circulating cytokines play a critical role in inflammation onset. Sex differences in innate and adaptive immunity change the response of and repair to damage caused by dangerous pathogens or molecules in the body. This article reviews the evidence for sex specific immune responses that contribute to the sex differences in symptoms of depression that may account for the higher rate of depression in women.

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Keywords
Stress, Sex, Depression, MDD, Immune
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