Research Impact: Increased levels of the pro-inflammatory factor interleukin-6 (IL-6) have been implicated in depression. Recent findings support plausible involvement of IL-6 in the antidepressant effects of exercise. Data from 116 depressed adults who completed 12 weeks of aerobic exercise training were analyzed to examine associations between IL-6 and depressive symptom responses to exercise. Higher IL-6 levels before exercise training were associated with larger improvements in depressive symptoms following exercise training, and changes in IL-6 were associated with changes in depressive symptoms. Together with previous findings, these findings highlight the potential importance of elevated inflammation in predicting depressive symptom responses to exercise.
Lavebratt, C., Herring, M.P., Liu, J.J., Wei, Y.B., Bossoli, D., Hallgren, M. and Forsell, Y., 2017. Interleukin-6 and depressive symptom severity in response to physical exercise. Psychiatry Research, 252, pp.270-276.