Anti-inflammatory effects of antidepressants: Possibilities for preventives against alzheimer's disease

Sadayuki Hashioka, Patrick L. McGeer, Akira Monji, Shigenobu Kanba

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Increasing evidence of pro-inflammatory mediator expression in major depressions indicate that inflammatory changes may play a role. If this is true, the efficacy of antidepressants may be partially attributable to suppression of inflammation. Various types of antidepressants can suppress serum and plasma levels of pro-inflammatory mediators in patients with major depression. Therefore they can inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory mediators by immune cells. These include glial cells, which are the main sources and targets of cytokines in the brain. This review summarizes the evidence showing that antidepressants have an anti-inflammatory potential. The putative mechanisms are also discussed. Because of the anti-inflammatory effects of antidepressants, they might also act as preventives for neurodegenerative dementias including Alzheimer's disease, where the pathogenesis involves chronic inflammation associated with activated microglia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-19
Number of pages8
JournalCentral Nervous System Agents in Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Molecular Medicine


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