Background: Depression appears to be a common complication in patients during and post–COVID-19 infection. Understanding the mechanism of action of cytokines such as interleukin-6, interleukin-10 and others in depression and in cytokine storm syndrome, the core component of COVID- 19, could shine a new light on future treatment options for both disorders.

Objective: This review demonstrates the role of interleukins in COVID-19 pathogenesis and
their role in depression.

Results: We described cases we have treated as an example for the dual role interleukins have in COVID-19 infection and depression and reviewed approximately 70 articles focusing on the role of interleukins in cytokine storm syndrome and depression.

Conclusion: This review highlights the key features of cytokines in both diseases. As the scientific community has more time to recover and process the effect of the current pandemic, we believe that additional research will pave the way to diverse pathways to treat depression in these patients and others.


I am a psychiatrist who specializes in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine. I treat children and adults with depression disorder, PTSD, delirium, somatization and drug and alcohol addiction. My specialty involves the evaluation and treatment of patients with co-morbid medical illness and psychiatric symptoms. I have a special interest in organ transplantation and worked at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Yale-New Haven Hospital with liver, kidney and heart transplant candidates. During my time at the Medical College of Wisconsin, I was director of transplant services.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have focused on patients who exhibited complications such as delirium, depression and Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Most of my work in recent years has focused on Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry or Psychosomatic Medicine. I remain active academically and continue to publish and give lectures.
I recently received the honor of becoming a Fellow of the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry.