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Psychiatry Res. 1997 Jun 16;71(1):11-7.

Plasma levels of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha in chronic schizophrenia: effects of clozapine treatment.

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  • 1Institute of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Naples, Italy.


Plasma levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) were assessed in 17 chronic schizophrenic patients who had been drug-free for 3 weeks and in 17 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects. Plasma concentrations of both cytokines were measured again in 12 patients after a 10-week treatment with clozapine. Compared with healthy controls, drug-free schizophrenic patients exhibited similar plasma IL-6 concentrations, but significantly higher levels of TNF alpha. After clozapine treatment, blood concentrations of TNF alpha fell to normal levels. These preliminary data support an immune activation in drug-free schizophrenic patients and an effect of clozapine on immune parameters.

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