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Int Immunopharmacol. 2006 Apr;6(4):666-71. Epub 2005 Nov 10.

Antipsychotic treatment may alter T-helper (TH) 2 arm cytokines.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Kangnam St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seocho-Gu, Seoul.


The alteration of T helper 1 (TH1) and TH2 responses and related cell-mediated immunity has been supposed to be associated with the immunological pathogenesis in the development of schizophrenia. Increasing evidence suggested the alteration of cytokines in accordance with the antipsychotic treatment as well, so that this study aimed at investigating the aberration of TH1 and -2 cytokines before and after antipsychotic treatment in patients with schizophrenia. Thirty-five schizophrenic patients with antipsychotic naïve or free more than 2 months participated in the study. We measured the plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin (IL)-2 (TH1), and IL-6, IL-10 and IL-13 (TH2) at the time of admission and after an 8-week antipsychotic treatment. The IL-6 (p = 0.001) and -13 (p = 0.004) levels were significantly decreased after antipsychotic treatment than those of before antipsychotic treatment. The total and general PANSS score changes were correlated with the change of IL-6 (r = 0.598, corrected p < 0.05; r = 0.550, corrected p = 0.005, respectively). The baseline IL-6 level was correlated with change of general PANSS score (r = 0.449, corrected p = 0.044), whereas changes of other PANSS scores were not correlated with any other baseline cytokine levels. The baseline total PANSS score was correlated with the baseline levels of IL-13 (r = 0.776, corrected p < 0.005). The baseline total and general PANSS scores were correlated with the baseline levels of IL-6 (r = 0.689, corrected p < 0.005; r = 0.653, corrected p < 0.005). The correlations between the baseline levels of cytokines and the duration of illness and the age at onset were not found. Our study supports that TH-2 arm cytokines may be involved in the improvement of psychopathology and symptomatologies of schizophrenia and that antipsychotic drugs may suppress some TH-2 cytokines in patients with schizophrenia.

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