The MCP-4/MCP-1 ratio in plasma is a candidate circadian biomarker for chronic post-traumatic stress disorder

C. Dalgard, O. Eidelman, C. Jozwik, C. H. Olsen, M. Srivastava, R. Biswas, Y. Eudy, S. W. Rothwell, G. P. Mueller, P. Yuan, W. C. Drevets, H. K. Manji, M. Vythlingam, D. S. Charney, A. Neumeister, R. J. Ursano, D. M. Jacobowitz, H. B. Pollard*, O. Bonne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is psychiatric disease, which can occur following exposure to traumatic events. PTSD may be acute or chronic, and can have a waxing and waning course of symptoms. It has been hypothesized that proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or plasma might be mediators of the psychophysiological mechanisms relating a history of trauma exposure to changes in behavior and mental health disorders, and medical morbidity. Here we test the cytokine/chemokine hypothesis for PTSD by examining levels of 17 classical cytokines and chemokines in CSF, sampled at 0900 hours, and in plasma sampled hourly for 24 h. The PTSD and healthy control patients are from the NIMH Chronic PTSD and healthy control cohort, initially described by Bonne et al. (2011), in which the PTSD patients have relatively low comorbidity for major depressive disorder (MDD), drug or alcohol use. We find that in plasma, but not CSF, the bivariate MCP4 (CCL13)/ MCP1(CCL2) ratio is ca. twofold elevated in PTSD patients compared with healthy controls. The MCP-4/MCP-1 ratio is invariant over circadian time, and is independent of gender, body mass index or the age at which the trauma was suffered. By contrast, MIP-1β is a candidate biomarker for PTSD only in females, whereas TARC is a candidate biomarker for PTSD only in males. It remains to be discovered whether these disease-specific differences in circadian expression for these specific immune signaling molecules are biomarkers, surrogates, or drivers for PTSD, or whether any of these analytes could contribute to therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1025
JournalTranslational Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 7 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


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