Monocyte phenotypes and functions were studied in 22 patients with major depression, and compared with those of 22 matched healthy controls. Immune measures were performed before and after dexamethasone suppression, and after 4 and 12 weeks of moclobemide therapy in patients. Seven patients terminated after 4 weeks because of treatment failure; 11 out of 15 patients responded to therapy after 12 weeks. Monocyte human leukocyte antigen class II and CD14 antigen expression, tumor necrosis factor production, and plasma interferon-gamma and neopterin did not differ in patients before treatment and controls. The reaction to dexamethasone was also similar in patients and controls. Neither antidepressive treatment per se nor the clinical response to it affected any immunological parameter. In conclusion, corticosteroid-controlled monocyte functions were similar in untreated and treated depressed patients and in controls, and unrelated to the clinical course of the disease.