Prenatal mood and anxiety disorders and associated cytokine changes

Roberta A. Mancuso, Kharah M. Ross, Eynav Accortt, Mary Coussons-Read, Michele L. Okun, Jessica Irwin, Judith Carroll, Calvin J. Hobel, Christine Dunkel Schetter

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review


Background: We examined whether women with prenatal mood and anxiety disorders would exhibit differential pro- and anti-inflammatory marker trajectories during the prenatal and postpartum periods compared to women without these disorders. Methods: Approximately 179 pregnant women participated in a longitudinal study conducted in two urban areas. Blood samples for inflammatory markers were collected at six study visits. The Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-IV (SCID) was administered to participants scoring above cutoffs on anxiety and depression. Pregnant women with SCID Axis I diagnoses of mood and/or anxiety disorders were compared to other participants on inflammatory markers. Multilevel modeling tested associations between SCID diagnoses and within-person interleukin (IL)6 and IL10 trajectories. Results: Prenatal SCID diagnoses were associated with linear, quadratic and cubic change in IL6 from prenatal to postpartum timepoints. Women with a prenatal SCID diagnosis had steeper decreases and increases in IL6 during prenatal and postpartum periods. SCID diagnoses were associated with lower IL10 in mid-pregnancy to postpartum (b = −0.078, SE = 0.019; p = .015). Limitations: Future studies would benefit from a larger sample size and a larger number of participants with SCID diagnoses. Future research should also examine whether different prenatal Axis 1 diagnoses are associated with different patterns of immune response in pregnancy. Conclusions: Pregnant women with prenatal mood and anxiety disorders had greater fluctuations in IL6 across prenatal and postpartum periods and lower IL10 through pregnancy and postpartum. They may have different proinflammatory states that remain after birth without a reciprocal anti-inflammatory response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-644
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb. 2024


  • Anxiety disorder
  • IL-10
  • IL-6
  • Mood disorder
  • Pregnancy
  • SCID


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