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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Abnormalities in chemokine levels in schizophrenia and their clinical correlates.

  • Author(s): Hong, Suzi
  • Lee, Ellen E
  • Martin, Averria Sirkin
  • Soontornniyomkij, Benchawanna
  • Soontornniyomkij, Virawudh
  • Achim, Cristian L
  • Reuter, Chase
  • Irwin, Michael R
  • Eyler, Lisa T
  • Jeste, Dilip V
  • et al.

Chemokines are promising biomarkers of immune activation and inflammation, but evidence for chemokine abnormalities in schizophrenia and their relationship to clinical factors remains inconclusive. We aimed to understand chemokine-related diagnostic differences and clinical correlates using a comprehensive panel and studying a large, well-characterized sample of adults with and without schizophrenia. We studied 134 outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 112 healthy comparison (HC) individuals, 26 to 65years of age. Clinical measures were obtained, and plasma levels of 11 chemokines were assessed using multiplex immunoassay. Schizophrenia vs. HC differences were tested for each chemokine, adjusting for age, gender, body mass index, and current smoking status. We also examined whether age and gender relationships differed between diagnostic groups. Using logistic regression, we created a Chemokine Index (CI) and explored its clinical correlates. Levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1/CCL2), macrophage inflammatory protein-1β (MIP-1β/CCL4), Eotaxin-1 (CCL11), thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC/CCL17), and macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC/CCL22) were significantly higher in persons with schizophrenia than HCs. Group differences in TARC were reduced after adjusting for covariates. The CI, a linear combination of Eotaxin-1 and MDC levels, was positively associated with age, duration of schizophrenia, and severity of negative symptoms. Levels of chemokines with neuroimmune regulatory effects were higher in individuals with schizophrenia, particularly in older and chronic patients. Treatments aimed at normalizing chemokine levels might improve mental and physical health among schizophrenia patients as they age.

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