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Am J Psychiatry. 1999 Apr;156(4):634-6.

Increase in expression of adhesion molecule receptors on T helper cells during antipsychotic treatment and relationship to blood-brain barrier permeability in schizophrenia.

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  • 1Psychiatric Hospital, Ludwig-Maximillian University, Munich, Germany.



The authors estimated the expression of adhesion molecule receptors (VLA-4 and LFA-1) on T helper (CD4+) and T suppressor/cytotoxic (CD8+) lymphocytes in schizophrenic patients before and during antipsychotic treatment and studied the relationship of these subpopulations to CSF measures and blood-brain barrier permeability.


Blood was drawn from hospitalized patients with schizophrenia before (N = 45) and after (N = 22) neuroleptic treatment and from an age-matched comparison group (N = 41). Lumbar punctures were performed on 32 of the schizophrenic patients.


During antipsychotic treatment there were significant increases in the percentage of VLA-4+/CD4+ and VLA-4+/CD8+ cells. VLA-4+/CD4+ and LFA-1+/CD4+ cells were both closely related to disturbance of the blood-brain barrier. Higher values for VLA-4+/CD4+ and LFA-1+/CD4+ cells were found in patients with a disturbed blood-brain barrier.


The findings suggest that adhesion molecules are involved in immunoregulation between the central nervous system and the peripheral immune system in schizophrenia.

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