Biochemical and Behavioral Correlates of IFN Response

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Interferon-a (IFN) is the only approved medication for hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection. However, side effects associated with IFN therapy represent a major obstacle to adequate treatment for patients with HCV, often resulting in the discontinuation IFN therapy. It is hypothesized that common mechanisms contribute to IFN-induced depression and antiviral effects. Two of IFN's antiviral mechanisms, 1) activation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and 2) induction of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, which depletes tryptophan, involve mechanisms also hypothesized to cause depression. To accomplish the objectives of this grant, three specific aims will be pursued: 1) determine how plasma nitrite, tryptophan, and serotonin levels relate to IFN therapeutic response and depressive symptoms; 2) identify the effects of iNOS inhibition and serotonergic antidepressants on the proliferative response of T cells to HCV-derived antigens; and 3) evaluate antidepressant treatment on IFN-induced biochemical and therapeutic effects. Results will contribute to knowledge of IFN mechanisms that are important in HCV and in understanding depressive symptoms accompanying medical conditions where cytokines are elevated.
Effective start/end date1/9/0112/31/07


  • National Institutes of Health: $50,428.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $47,296.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $52,048.00


  • Medicine(all)


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