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Alterations in certain inflammatory markers have been found in individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN). However, their relation to clinical characteristics has not been extensively explored, nor is it clear whether they are trait or state features of the disorder. This cross-sectional study measured serum concentrations of 36 inflammatory markers in people with acute AN (n = 56), recovered AN (rec-AN; n = 24) and healthy controls (HC; n = 51). The relationship between body mass index (BMI), eating disorder psychopathology, depression symptoms and inflammatory markers was assessed. Statistical models controlled for variables known to influence cytokine concentrations (i.e., age, ethnicity, smoking status and medication usage). Overall, most inflammatory markers including pro-inflammatory cytokines were unchanged in AN and rec-AN. However, in AN and rec-AN, concentrations of macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1β were lower than HCs. Interleukin (IL)-7 and IL-12/IL-23p40 were reduced in AN, and concentrations of macrophage-derived chemokine, MIP-1α and tumor necrosis factor-α were reduced in rec-AN compared to HC. In conclusion, a reduc-tion in MIP-1β may be a trait marker of the illness, whereas reductions in IL-7 and IL-12/IL-23p40 may be state markers. The absence of increased pro-inflammatory cytokines in AN is contradictory to the wider literature, although the inclusion of covariates may explain our differing findings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number814
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
  • Chemokines
  • Crossectional
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammatory markers


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