Genes for immune system 'linked with depression'

Study suggests neutrophils may be important in mediating bidirectional effects, authors say

Genes that increase a person's susceptibility to depression are also associated with increased white blood cell count, researchers report.

illustration of neutrophil and red blood cells

Furthermore, the association may be bidirectional, and driven by neutrophils, according to study results.

While the underlying biological basis for depression remains poorly understood, the condition is consistently associated with increased proinflammatory biomarkers, the US researchers explain in JAMA Psychiatry.