Prepartum depressive symptoms, C-reactive protein and tryptophan levels

Debra A. Scrandis, Patricia Langenberg, Leonardo H. Tonelli, Tehmina M. Sheikh, Anita C. Manogura, Laura A. Alberico, Tracey Hermanstyne, Dietmar Fuchs, Hugh Mighty, Jeffrey D. Hasday, Kalina Boteva, Teodor T. Postolache

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Prepartum and postpartum depression have negative, and sometimes devastating, effects on women and their families. As inflammatory processes are related to depression in general, we hypothesized that inflammatory perturbations, prepartum and postpartum, contribute to triggering and worsening of symptoms of peripartum depression. We conducted a longitudinal preliminary study on 27 women at high risk for developing postpartum depression at three time points: 35-38 weeks gestation, 1-5 days postpartum, and 5-6 weeks postpartum. Depressive symptoms were measured with the SIGH-SAD scale. Serum C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, both markers of inflammation, as well as tryptophan, kynurenine, and the kynurenine/tryptophan ratio, as consequences of inflammation and pathophysiological steps towards depression, were measured at each time point. C-reactive protein levels were found to be positively related to atypical and total depression scores in the prepartum period and with atypical depression scores in the early postpartum period. Tryptophan was found to be negatively associated with total depression scores in the prepartum, as well. These findings warrant further investigation that could lead to novel interventions to decrease poor outcomes from peripartum depression.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironment, Mood Disorders and Suicide
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781626183407
StatePublished - Feb 4 2013


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