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Pro-inflammatory monocyte profile in patients with major depressive disorder and suicide behaviour and how ketamine induces anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages by NMDAR and mTOR.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Depression is a highly prevalent disorder that is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Despite an unknown aetiology, evidence suggests that the innate and adaptive immune systems play a significant role in the development and maintenance of major depressive disorder (MDD). The non-competitive glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonist, (R,S)-ketamine (ketamine), has demonstrated rapid and robust efficacy as an antidepressant when administered at sub-anaesthetic doses. METHODS: Our goal was to characterize the pro-inflammatory profile of patients with MDD by measuring pro-inflammatory cytokines in plasma and circulating monocyte subsets and to understand how ketamine induces an anti-inflammatory program in monocyte and macrophages in vitro and vivo. FINDING: Our results show that patients with MDD without other comorbidities (N = 33) exhibited significantly higher levels of pro-inflammatory IL-12 and IL-6 in plasma and that these cytokines were associated with increased numbers of non-classical (CD11b+CD16brightCD14neg) monocytes and increased activation state (CD40+CD86+) of classical monocytes in circulation. Remarkably, we have demonstrated that sub-anaesthetic doses of ketamine programs human monocytes into M2c-like macrophages by inducing high levels of CD163 and MERTK with intermediate levels of CD64 and stimulating mTOR-associated gene expression in vitro. The NMDAR antagonist MK-801, but not the α-amino-3‑hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR) antagonist, NBQX, also polarizes macrophages to an M2c-like phenotype, but this phenotype disappears upon mTOR pathway inhibition. Sub-anaesthetic doses (10 mg/kg) of ketamine administration in mice both promote reduction of circulating classical pro-inflammatory monocytes and increase of alternative M2 macrophage subtypes in the spleen and CNS. INTERPRETATION: Our results suggest an anti-inflammatory property of ketamine that can skew macrophages to an M2-like phenotype, highlighting potential therapeutic implications not only for patients with MDD but also other inflammatory-based diseases. FUNDING: This study was supported by grants from the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) and Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (ANPCyT-FONCYT).

Authors: Nowak W, Grendas LN, Sanmarco LM, Estecho IG, Arena ÁR, Eberhardt N, Rodante DE, Aoki MP, Daray FM, Carrera Silva EA, Errasti AE.
Journal: EBioMedicine. 2019 Dec;50:290-305.
Year: 2019
PubMed: Find in PubMed