Common variants conferring risk of schizophrenia

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    ABSTRACT: The present study investigated associations between the strongest joint genetic risk variants for bipolar disorder (BD) and schizophrenia (SCZ) and a history of suicide attempt in patients with BD, SCZ and related psychiatric disorders. A history of suicide attempt was assessed in a sample of 1009 patients with BD, SCZ and related psychosis spectrum disorders, and associations with the joint genetic risk variants for BD and SCZ (rs2239547 (ITIH3/4-region), rs10994359 (ANK3) and rs4765905 (CACNA1C)) were investigated. Previously reported susceptibility loci for suicide attempt in BD were also investigated. Associations were tested by logistic regression with Bonferroni correction for multiple testing. The risk allele in rs2239547 (ITIH3/4-region) was significantly associated with a history of suicide attempt (p=0.01) after multiple testing correction (p threshold<0.017). The previous suicide attempt susceptibility loci were only nominally associated, but had the same direction of risk in the replication sample (sign test, p=0.02). Relatively small sample size and retrospective clinical assessment. We detected a novel association between suicide attempt and the ITIH3/4-region in a combined group of patients with BD, SCZ and related psychosis spectrum disorders. This may be useful in understanding molecular mechanisms of suicidal behaviour in severe mental disorders, although replication is warranted.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 12/2013; · 3.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia has been associated with central nervous system and peripheral immune system imbalances. However, most studies have not yielded conclusive results due to limitations such as small sample size, dissimilarities in the clinical status of patients and the high variability of cytokine levels within the normal human population. Here, we have attempted to account for these limitations by carrying out standardised multiplex immunoassay analyses of 9 cytokines in serum from 180 antipsychotic-naïve first-episode schizophrenia patients and 350 matched controls across 5 clinical cohorts. All subjects were matched for potential confounding factors including age, gender, smoking and body mass index. We found that the levels of interleukin (IL)-1RA, IL-10 and IL-15 were increased significantly in patients across the cohorts. We also found that the levels of IL-1RA and IL-10 were decreased in 32 patients who had been followed up and treated for 6 weeks with atypical antipsychotics. Interestingly, we found that the changes in IL-10 levels were significantly correlated with the improvements in negative, general and total symptom scores. These results indicate that mixed pro- and anti-inflammatory responses may be altered in first onset patients, suggesting a role in the aetiology of schizophrenia. The finding that only the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 responded to treatment in parallel with symptom improvement suggests that this could be used as a potential treatment response biomarker in future studies of schizophrenia.
    Schizophrenia Research 01/2014; · 4.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Endocannabinoid system is involved in the regulation of the brain-immune axis. Cannabis consumption is related with the development, course, and severity of psychosis. The epidemiological evidence for increased occurrence of immunological alterations in patients with psychosis has not been sufficiently addressed. The aim of this review is to establish whether there is any scientific evidence of the influence of cannabinoids on aspects of immunity that affect susceptibility to psychotic disorder induction. Methods A comprehensive search of PubMed /MEDLINE, EMBASE and ISI Web of Knowledge was performed using combinations of key terms distributed into three blocks: “immune”, “cannabinoid”, and “endocannabinoid receptor”. Studies were considered to be eligible for the review if they were original articles, they reported a quantitative or qualitative relation between cannabinoid ligands, their receptors, and immune system, and they were carried out in vitro or in mammals, included humans. All the information was systematically extracted and evaluated. Results We identified 122 articles from 446 references. Overall, endocannabinoids enhanced immune response, whereas exogenous cannabinoids had immunosuppressant effects. A general change in the immune response from Th1 to Th2 was also demonstrated for cannabinoid action. Endogenous and synthetic cannabinoids also modulated microglia function and neurotransmitter secretion. Conclusion The actions of cannabinoids through the immune system are quite regular and predictable in the peripheral but remain fuzzy in the central nervous system. Despite this uncertainty, it may be hypothesized that exposure to exocannabinoids, in particular during adolescence might prompt immunological dysfunctions that potentially cause a latent vulnerability to psychosis. Further investigations are warranted to clarify the relationship between the immunological effects of cannabis and psychosis.
    Brain Behavior and Immunity 08/2014; · 5.61 Impact Factor