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Serum concentrations of TNF-α, sTNF-R p55 and p75 and post-traumatic stress in German soldiers

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 17:23 authored by Himmerich, H, Willmund, GD, Zimmerman, P, Wolf, J-E, Buhler, AH, Holdt, LM, Teusper, D, Kenneth KirkbyKenneth Kirkby, Wesemann, U
Growing evidence suggests involvement of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α system in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders. Research into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has investigated serum levels of TNF-α, but not to date its soluble receptors sTNF-R p55 and sTNF-R p75. We examined serum levels of TNF-α, sTNF-R p55 and sTNF-R p75 in 135 male German soldiers 70 of whom had been deployed abroad and 65 in Germany only. Post-traumatic stress symptoms were measured using the Post-traumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale (PDS) and the Trier Inventory for the Assessment of Chronic Stress (TICS). Correlational analysis controlling for multiple testing, showed no significant Spearman rank correlations between PDS or TICS scores and serum levels of TNF-α, sTNF-R p55 or sTNF-R p75, either in the full sample or in the group of soldiers who had been deployed abroad. ANCOVAs showed no significant differences between soldiers with or without a PDS-derived diagnosis of PTSD, or between soldiers with or without deployment abroad, after controlling for age, smoking and body mass index (BMI). These results suggest that the TNF-α system, as reflected by TNF-α, sTNF-R p55 and sTNF-R p75 serum levels, does not play a major role in the pathophysiology and development of PTSD symptoms as measured by the PDS and the TICS. However, several methodological and contextual issues have to be considered.


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European Cytokine Network








Tasmanian School of Medicine


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Copyright 2015 John Libbey Eurotext Ltd.

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Mental health

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