Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Clinical Laboratory, Tongde Hospital of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310012, China.

2 Affiliated Xiaoshan Hospital, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 311200, China.

3 Lishui TCM Hospital Affiliated to Zhejiang Chinese Medical University (Lishui Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine), Lishui, Zhejiang, 323000, China.

4 The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang Chinese Medical University (Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine), Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310006, China.


Background: T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain-containing protein 3 (TIM3) is a regulatory molecule expressed on a variety of cell types, including CD3+ T cells. Few studies have been conducted to look into the correlation between TIM3 expression on peripheral T lymphocytes and post-stroke depression (PSD).
Objective: To investigate the relationship between TIM3 expressions on peripheral T lymphocytes in PSD patients.
Methods: Acute stroke patients without depression (NPSD) (n=65), PSD patients (n=23), and body mass index (BMI), age, and education-matched healthy controls (HC) (n=59) were enrolled. Using flow cytometry, TIM3 expression was examined in the peripheral CD3+ CD4+ and CD3+ CD8+ T lymphocytes. Evaluation of the depressive severity in PSD patients was assessed using a 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D-17). We used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to determine the serum concentrations of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and IL-18. We further assessed the relationships between TIM3 expression, serum cytokine levels, and the HAM-D-17 scores.
Results: CD3+ CD4+ T cells reduced significantly in PSD patients compared with the NPSD patients and HC. Both NPSD patients and PSD patients had a significant increase in TIM3 expression in their peripheral CD3+ CD4+ T lymphocytes, compared with HC. In PSD patients, a higher frequency of peripheral CD3+ CD8+ T lymphocytes showed significant expression of TIM3 compared to NPSD patients and HC. High TIM3 level on peripheral CD3+ CD8+ T lymphocytes was positively associated with the HAM-D score.
Conclusion: Patients with PSD exhibit immune dysfunction. TIM3 might contribute to the development and severity of PSD, making it a potential therapeutic target.


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