ABSTRACT: An accumulating body of evidence point to the significance of neuroinflammation and immunogenetics also in schizophrenia. Recent genome-wide studies in schizophrenia suggest immune involvement in schizophrenia. Microglia are the resident macrophage of the brain and major players in innate immunity in the CNS. They respond rapidly to even minor pathological changes in the brain and may contribute directly to the neuronal degeneration by producing various pro-inflammatory cytokines and free radicals. In many aspects, the neuropathology of schizophrenia is closely associated with microglial activation. We and other researchers have shown the inhibitory effects of some typical or atypical antipsychotics on the release of inflammatory cytokines and free radicals from activated microglia, both of which are not only directly toxic to neurons but also cause a decrease in neurogenesis as well as white matter abnormalities in the brains of the patients with schizophrenia. The treatment through the inhibition of microglial activation may shed new light on the therapeutic strategy of schizophrenia.
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 12/2011; · 3.25 Impact Factor