Depressive symptoms and other negative psychological states relate to ex vivo inflammatory responses differently for men and women: Cross-sectional and longitudinal evidence

Erik L. Knight, Marzieh Majd, Jennifer E. Graham-Engeland, Joshua M. Smyth, Martin J. Sliwinski, Christopher G. Engeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

An array of negative psychological states – including depressive symptoms, perceived stress, rumination, and negative affect – have been linked to immune function and inflammatory responses. Herein we show evidence of gender-dependent associations between ex vivo lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated cytokine responses and such psychological states, in both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses from three annual waves (N = 162 at baseline, 67.3% female). In cross-sectional analyses (at baseline), gender moderated the associations of depressive symptoms (previously reported), perceived stress (B = -0.043, 95%CI [-0.080, -0.015]), rumination (B = -0.500, [-1.015, -0.232]), negative affect (B = -0.020, [-0.020, -0.005]), and positive affect (B = 0.024, [0.008, 0.047]) with LPS-stimulated cytokine responses. In each analysis, negative psychological states were positively associated with LPS-stimulated cytokine responses among men but negatively among women (with associations for positive affect in the opposite direction). In longitudinal analyses (across three annual measurements), similar associations were seen for depressive symptoms (B = -0.024, [-0.059, -0.004]), perceived stress (B = -0.045, [-0.069, -0.024]), and rumination (B = -0.381, [-0.622, -0.120]). These results indicate that gender is a critical factor in associations between a broad array of negative psychological states and inflammatory responses and identify one pathway by which gender may influence psychosomatic health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113656
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume244
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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