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Korean J Women Health Nurs > Volume 21(2); 2015 > Article
Korean Journal of Women Health Nursing 2015;21(2):106-114.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4069/kjwhn.2015.21.2.106    Published online June 27, 2015.
A Review of Postpartum Depression: Focused on Psychoneuroimmunological Interaction
Yunmi Kim, Sukhee Ahn
1College of Nursing, Gachon University, Incheon, Korea.
2College of Nursing, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea. sukheeahn@cnu.ac.kr
Abstract
PURPOSE
The purpose of this review was to describe a psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) framework for postpartum depression (PPD) and discuss its implications for nursing research and practice for postpartum women.
METHODS
This study explored the role of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and inflammation as possible mediators of risk factors for PPD through literature review.
RESULTS
From this PNI view, human bodies are designed to respond with the reciprocal interactions among the neuro-endocrine and immune system when they are faced with physical or psychological stressors. Chronic stress induces alterations in the function of HPA axis, and a chronic low-grade inflammatory response is associated with depression. The dysfunctions of cytokines and HPA axis have been observed during the postpartum period. Stress promotes glucocorticoid receptor resistance, which can promote inflammatory responses. This, in turn, can contribute to the pathophysiology of depression. This can especially affect populations at vulnerable time-points, such as women in the postpartum.
CONCLUSION
From a PNI perspective, well-designed prospective research evaluating the role of stress and inflammation as an etiology of PPD and the effect of stress reduction is warranted to prevent PPD.
Key Words: Postpartum depression; Stress; Inflammation; Cytokines; Glucocorticoid; Psychoneuroimmunology
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