Background/Aims: Cytokine secretion is known to play an important role in the pathophysiology of depression, and levels of proinflammatory cytokines are increased in chronic renal failure (CRF) patients. The objective of this study was to examine the correlation between levels of proinflammatory cytokines in CRF patients and degree of depression. Methods: 31 patients on hemodialysis, 31 patients on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, and 31 conservatively managed chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients were enrolled in this study. Depressive symptoms were measured with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and elevated symptoms of depression' were defined as a BDI score >= 17. IL-6 and TNF alpha cytokine levels were measured by ELISA. Results: 'Elevated symptoms of depression' occurred in 37 of 93 patients (40%). IL-6 and TNF alpha levels were not significantly different among CRF patients with and without elevated depressive symptoms (p = 0.937 and p = 0.414, respectively). When analyzed by treatment subgroup, proinflammatory cytokine levels were not significantly different in patients with and without elevated symptoms of depression. Conclusion: In patients with CRF, elevated symptoms of depression were not associated with increased cytokine levels. Copyright (C) 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.