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Extensive research suggests a role for the innate immune system in the pathogenesis of depression, but most of the studies are conducted in adult populations, in high-income countries and mainly focus on the study of inflammatory proteins alone, which provides only a limited understanding of the immune pathways involved in the development of depression. The IDEA-FLAME study aims to identify immune phenotypes underlying increased risk of developing depression in adolescence in a middle-income country. To this end, we will perform deep-immunophenotyping of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and RNA genome-wide gene expression analyses in a longitudinal cohort of Brazilian adolescents stratified for depression risk. The project will involve the 3-year follow-up of an already recruited cohort of 150 Brazilian adolescents selected for risk/presence of depression on the basis of a composite risk score we developed using sociodemographic characteristics (50 adolescents with low-risk and 50 with high-risk of developing depression, and 50 adolescents with a current major depressive disorder). We will 1) test whether the risk group classification at baseline is associated with differences in immune cell frequency, phenotype and functional status, 2) test whether baseline immune markers (cytokines and immune cell markers) are associated with severity of depression at 3-year follow-up, and 3) identify changes in gene expression of immune pathways over the 3-year follow-up in adolescents with increased risk and presence of depression. Because of the exploratory nature of the study, the findings would need to be replicated in a separate and larger sample. Ultimately, this research will contribute to elucidating key immune therapeutic targets and inform the development of interventions to prevent onset of depression among adolescents. [Abstract copyright: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.]
Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain, Behavior, & Immunity - Health
Early online date27 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


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