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Cytokine-Associated Depression and Social Pain

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
University of California, Los Angeles Identifier:
First received: July 29, 2009
Last updated: NA
Last verified: July 2009
History: No changes posted
Recent research has demonstrated a relationship between depression and immune system activity, specifically proinflammatory cytokine activity. Although experimentally-induced immune activation leads to increases in depressed mood, the neural correlates associated with these changes have remained largely unexplored. Based on relationships between cytokine activity, depression, and heightened physical and social pain sensitivity, I propose to investigate the effect of proinflammatory cytokine activation on the neural correlates of socially painful experience that may contribute to depression. Our previous work has shown that the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), typically associated with physical pain distress, also plays a role in the distressing feelings associated with social rejection or social loss. Moreover, recent pilot data has revealed that individuals with elevated levels of baseline proinflammatory cytokines report feeling more distressed and show more dACC activity during social rejection. To investigate the causal role that cytokines may play in the heightened social pain sensitivity that can contribute to depression, participants will be randomly assigned to receive either endotoxin (which increases proinflammatory cytokine activity) or placebo. Subsequently, participants will complete a neuroimaging study in which they will be rejected during an online ball-tossing game. We hypothesize that individuals exposed to endotoxin will report more social distress and depression following rejection and will show more dACC reactivity during rejection. The proposed study is the first to investigate the effect of systemic inflammation on neural reactivity related to social and affective processes that may increase the risk of depression.

Condition Intervention Phase
Depression Drug: Endotoxin Early Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: An fMRI Study of Cytokine-Associated Depression and Social Pain

Further study details as provided by University of California, Los Angeles:

Study Start Date: January 2007

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 45 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • right-handed

Exclusion Criteria:

  • 1) BMI greater than 30,
  • 2) presence of physical health problems or medication use,
  • 3) evidence of an Axis I psychiatric disorder based on the SCID assessment,
  • 4) evidence of recreational drug use from a positive urine test,
  • 5) positive pregnancy test, if female,
  • 6) abnormalities on screening laboratory tests (blood cell count, liver function),
  • 7) claustrophobia,
  • 8) metal in body,
  • 9) history of allergies, autoimmune, liver, or other severe chronic diseases,
  • 10) current use of prescription medications,
  • 11) nightshift work or time zone shifts (> 3hrs) within the previous 6 weeks.
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00949845

United States, California
UCLA General Clinical Research Center
Los Angeles, California, United States, 90095
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of California, Los Angeles
Principal Investigator: Naomi I Eisenberger, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Naomi Eisenberger Identifier: NCT00949845     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Endotoxin
Study First Received: July 29, 2009
Last Updated: July 29, 2009

Keywords provided by University of California, Los Angeles:
Effect of Inflammatory challenge on depressed mood
Effect of inflammatory challenge on social pain

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Depressive Disorder
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on August 18, 2017