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T- and B-lymphocytes in patients with schizophrenia in acute psychotic episode and the course of the treatment

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Ludwig-Maximilians-University, München, Germany.
Psychiatry Research (Impact Factor: 2.68). 09/2007; 152(2-3):173-80. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2006.06.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Schizophrenia is associated with alterations of the immune system. There are, however, only limited data dealing with immune parameters in unmedicated schizophrenic patients and the course of these parameters during treatment. In this study, we monitored CD19+ (B)- and CD3+ (T)-lymphocytes in the course of antipsychotic treatment. Forty patients diagnosed with an acute exacerbation of schizophrenia were tested before and after 3 days, 2 weeks, 4 weeks and 3 months of treatment with antipsychotics. The percentages of CD19+- and CD3+ -lymphocytes were analysed by flow cytometry using fluorescence conjugated anti-CD19 and anti-CD3 antibodies. Twenty healthy volunteers served as controls. In the acute state of psychosis, a significant reduction of the CD3+ -lymphocyte subpopulation was observed, while the percentage of CD19(+)-lymphocytes was increased. Both subpopulations levelled to those of the control group in the course of treatment. As expected, the levels of the immune parameters did not change in the healthy controls during the course of the study. The observed alterations of the CD19+ - and CD3+ -lymphocytes in the acute state of psychosis especially in patients with the paranoid subtype of schizophrenia, and the "normalization" during the observation period are discussed under the aspect of the immune hypothesis of schizophrenia, in particular of the type-1/type-2 imbalance hypothesis.

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    • "14 Mazzarello et al. 2004 Schizophrenia patients (n=24) Decreased percentage of CD8+ and higher CD4+ / CD8+ ratio were reported. 15 Matloubi et al. 2007 Drug-free schizophrenia patients (n=30) Lower T cell responses to mitogen 16 Maino et al. 2007 Unmedicated Schizophrenia patients (n=40) In the acute state of psychosis, a significant reduction of the CD3+lymphocyte subpopulation and increased percentage of CD19(+)lymphocytes were observed. 17 Craddock et al. 2007 In vitro studies of peripheral blood T cells derived from schizophrenia patients "
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    • "This decreasing has also been found in patients with breast cancer having a higher hopeful attitude [70] or in patients that receive psychological treatment before surgery in order to decrease their surgical anxiety [71]. However, B cells are increased in patients with acute schizophrenia [72] or university students under stress periods [73]. In laboratory animals (mouse) with experimental allergic or autoimmune encephalomyelitis [74, 75], as well as in multiple sclerosis patients [76] has also been found the presence of CD134+ cells localized in the active lesions. "
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    • "The finding that immune alterations in schizophrenia have been found within the brain and cerebrospinal fluid, as well as in peripheral systems such as blood serum and leukocytes, suggests that systemic inflammatory processes are involved in schizophrenia pathogenesis (Maino et al., 2007; Potvin et al., 2008; Chan et al., 2011; Drexhage et al., 2011a,b; Miller et al., 2011; Schwarz et al., 2012). A previously published meta-analysis of 14 studies on serum cytokine alterations in first-episode schizophrenia patients (N between 4 and 83) found increased levels of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-12, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, interferon (IFN)-γ and soluble IL-2-receptor, although significant heterogeneity was observed across the different studies (Miller et al., 2011). "
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