Send to

Choose Destination
Biol Psychiatry. 1999 Mar 15;45(6):704-14.

Antiretroviral antibodies: implications for schizophrenia, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and bipolar disorder.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.



Some retroviral antigens share structural homology within a group of related retroviruses. It is possible that antibodies directed against one virus may cross-react with antigens from a different virus in the group.


Using this principle, the human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) Western blot assay was used as an available source of human retroviral antigens to screen serum samples from an archived collection to ascertain whether there was an association between serum antiretroviral antibodies and mental illnesses.


A statistically significant proportion (28/54, 52%) of patients suffering from psychiatric disorders had serum antibodies that recognized at least one antigen present on the blot, culminating in indeterminate HIV-1 tests. The majority of the reactive samples were directed against the HIV-1 group antigens p24 and p17. These findings contrast with those of nonpsychiatric patients, who had 4/16 (25%) indeterminate blots.


The results suggest exposure to retroviral antigens related to those of HIV-1 in subpopulations of schizophrenic, schizophrenic spectrum disorder, and bipolar disorder patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center