Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and inflammatory markers in school-aged children with early trauma
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OBJECTIVE: The impact of childhood trauma (CT) on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and cytokines levels remains unclear. We investigated the association between CT and changes in BDNF and cytokines plasma levels in children. METHOD: We recruited 36 children with trauma (CT+) and 26 children without trauma (CT-). The presence of CT was based on a clinical interview and by Criteria A of DSM-IV criteria for PTSD. Blood samples were drawn from all children to assess BDNF and cytokines. ancova was performed with psychiatric symptoms and BMI as covariates to evaluate group differences in plasma levels. RESULTS: CT+ showed increased levels of BDNF and TNF-α after excluding children with history of inflammatory disease (P<0.05) when compared with those CT-. IL-12p70, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and IL-1β levels were not statistically different between groups. CONCLUSION: CT+ showed increased BDNF and proinflammatory cytokines levels. The increase in BDNF levels may be an attempt to neutralize the negative effects of CT, while an increase in TNF-a levels be associated with a proinflammatory state after CT. How these changes associated with trauma relate to other biological changes and illness trajectory later in life remain to be further studied.
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