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Seasonality of blood neopterin levels in the Old Order Amish

Authors
  • Mohyuddin, Hira
  • Georgiou, Polymnia
  • Wadhawan, Abhishek
  • Daue, Melanie L.
  • Brenner, Lisa A.
  • Gragnoli, Claudia
  • Saunders, Erika F.H.
  • Fuchs, Dietmar
  • Lowry, Christopher A.
  • Postolache, Teodor T.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Pteridines
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Dec 02, 2017
Volume
28
Issue
3-4
Pages
163–176
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/pterid-2017-0020
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Seasonal changes in non-human animals and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in humans are associated with immune activation in winter relative to summer. We intended to measure seasonal variation in neopterin, a marker of cellular immunity, and its interactions with gender and seasonality of mood. We studied 320 Amish from Lancaster, PA, USA (men=128; 40%) with an average age [Standard deviation (SD)] of 56.7 (13.9) years. Blood neopterin level was measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Seasonality was measured with Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ). Statistical analysis included analysis of covariance (ANCOVAs) and multivariate linear regression. We also investigated interactions of seasonal differences in neopterin with gender, seasonality scores and estimation of SAD diagnosis. We found a significantly higher neopterin level in winter than in summer (p=0.006). There were no significant gender or seasonality interactions. Our study confirmed the hypothesized higher neopterin level in winter. A cross sectional design was our major limitation. If this finding will be replicated by longitudinal studies in multiple groups, neopterin could be used to monitor immune status across seasons in demographically diverse samples, even if heterogeneous in gender distribution, and degree of seasonality of mood.

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