Cytokines in anorexia nervosa--nutritional or neuroimmunal changes?

A. Schattner, R. Tepper, M. Steinbock, A. Schoenfeld, N. Vaisman, T. Hahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Natural cell-mediated cytotoxicity (CMC), spontaneous release of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) by mononuclear cells in vitro, and PHA-induced interferon (IFN-gamma) production were examined by standard methods in 14 females with anorexia nervosa (AN) and marked weight loss and in 16 normal matched controls. The results were confirmed by neutralization with monoclonal antibodies. In the anorectic patients there was a significant increase in TNF production (16 +/- 5 vs 4 +/- 3 mu/ml), and depressed CMC (4 +/- 2 vs 10 +/- 3 lytic units per 50/10(6) cells) and IFN-gamma production (172.5 +/- 25 vs 367 +/- 34 mu/ml). Following successful refeeding and nutritional rehabilitation, all values returned to normal. Thus there are changes in cytokines and defective natural cytotoxicity in AN, apparently related to undernutrition and not to neuroimmunomodulation. The increased TNF-release may further suppress food intake and enhance tissue catabolism, suggesting that nutritional rehabilitation should be the earliest therapeutic goal in anorexia nervosa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-247, 308
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Oct 1992
Externally publishedYes


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