Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor and microRNA-451a in Response to Mindfulness-based Therapy or Treatment as Usual in Patients with Depression, Anxiety, or Stress and Adjustment Disorders
International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2018
Pages: 513 - 521
Sources ID: 59256
BackgroundMacrophage migration inhibitory factor is a proinflammatory cytokine that has been associated with various psychiatric disorders. MicroRNA-451a can directly target macrophage migration inhibitory factor and downregulate its expression in cells. However, the role of macrophage migration inhibitory factor and microRNA-451a in psychiatric patients treated with psychotherapeutic interventions is unknown. In this study, our aim was to investigate levels of macrophage migration inhibitory factor and its regulating microRNA-451a in patients with depression, anxiety, or stress and adjustment disorders who underwent mindfulness-based therapy or treatment as usual. Methods A total of 168 patients with psychiatric disorders were included from a randomized controlled trial that compared mindfulness-based therapy with treatment as usual. Plasma levels of macrophage migration inhibitory factor and microRNA-451a were measured at baseline and after the 8-week follow-up using Luminex assay and qPCR. Results Macrophage migration inhibitory factor levels decreased significantly in patients posttreatment, whereas microRNA-451a levels showed a nonsignificant change. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor levels were inversely associated with microRNA-451a expression levels at baseline (β=−0.04, P=.008). The change in macrophage migration inhibitory factor levels (follow-up levels minus baseline levels) was associated with the change in microRNA-451a (follow-up levels minus baseline levels) (β=−0.06, P < .0001). The change in either macrophage migration inhibitory factor or microRNA-451a was not associated with improvement in psychiatric symptoms. Conclusion We demonstrate that the levels of macrophage migration inhibitory factor decreased after psychotherapeutic interventions in patients with psychiatric disorders. However, this reduction was not associated with an improvement in psychiatric symptoms in response to the treatment. We also found an association between macrophage migration inhibitory factor and its regulating microRNA. However, this association needs to be further examined in future studies.