Autoimmunity in schizophrenia: a review of recent findings.
ABSTRACT The pathophysiology of psychotic and other symptoms in schizophrenia remains a mystery despite decades of research. Even though it has been suspected for many years that autoimmune mechanisms may play a role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, firm evidence for this hypothesis has been lacking. Our studies, over the last 10 years, have revealed that a subgroup of schizophrenics have several significant immunological abnormalities, including increased prevalence of autoimmune diseases and of antinuclear antibodies (ANA) and anticytoplasmic antibodies (ACA), decreased lymphocyte interleukin-2 (IL-2) production, increased serum IL-2 receptor concentration, increased serum IL-6 concentration, and an association with HLA antigens. These findings are characteristic of autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. We also found that some schizophrenics have antibodies to hippocampal antigens (AHA) in their serum, together with lowered IL-2 production. None of the above findings can be interpreted as definitely confirming the role of autoimmunity in schizophrenia. Nevertheless, taken together, the recent evidence points towards the existence of a subgroup of schizophrenics who have immunological findings consistent with that hypothesis. Further studies directed at finding the brain antigens targeted by the immune system in these patients, and longitudinal studies correlating clinical and immune changes over time, are needed.
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Immune deregulation has been postulated to be one of the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of tardive dyskinesia (TD). We hypothesized that interleukins would have a link with TD in schizophrenia patients. In this study, the serum IL-2, IL-6 and IL-8 levels were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in schizophrenia patients with TD (n = 48) and without TD (n = 45), and healthy controls (n = 44). The psychopathological symptoms of schizophrenia were assessed by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). The severity of TD was evaluated using Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS). The results showed that serum IL-2, IL-6 and IL-8 levels were significantly different among schizophrenia patients with TD and without TD and normal controls. Moreover, IL-2 level was significantly correlated with PANSS positive subscale and general subscale in patients with TD and without TD. In addition, IL-2 level was positively correlated with AIMS score in TD patients. The results supported that immune disturbance is related to the schizophrenia patients, especially to the patients with TD and ILs might play an important role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia patients with TD.Schizophrenia Research 01/2015; 162(1-3). DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2014.12.037 · 4.43 Impact Factor