Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Jul;31:90-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2012.06.010. Epub 2012 Jun 28.

Serum and gene expression profile of cytokines in first-episode psychosis.

Author information

King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Psychological Medicine, London, UK.


An inflammatory syndrome has been previously reported in chronic schizophrenia. The aims of this study were to investigate: (1) serum levels and leukocyte gene expression of cytokines in patients with first-episode psychosis and controls; and (2) possible causes of abnormal cytokine levels in first-episode psychosis, testing their association with psychosocial stressors, current nicotine and cannabis use, and duration of antipsychotic treatment. We recruited 24 first-episode psychosis patients and 24 healthy controls matched for age, gender, ethnicity and body mass index. Serum interleukin(IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, Tumour Necrosis Factor- α (TNF-α), Interferon- γ (IFN-γ), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) were analysed in all subjects. Leukocyte gene expression analyses were conducted only for those cytokines that were different between-groups in the serum analyses. Patients had significantly higher serum levels of IL-1α (effect size d=0.6, p=0.03), IL-1β (d=0.4, p=0.01), IL-8 (d=0.6, p=0.01) and TNF-α (d=0.7, p=0.05) and a trend for higher IL-6 serum levels (d=0.3, p=0.09) when compared with controls. Leukocyte m-RNA levels of IL-1α (d=0.6, p=0.04), IL-6 (d=0.7, p=0.01) and TNF-α (d=1.6, p<0.001), but not IL-1β and IL-8, were also significantly higher in patients. A history of childhood trauma was associated with higher TNF-α serum levels (p=0.01), while more recent stressful life-events were associated with higher TNF-α mRNA levels in leukocytes (p=0.002). In conclusion, first-episode psychosis is characterised by a pro-inflammatory state supported, at least in part, by activation of leukocytes. Past and recent stressors contribute to this pro-inflammatory state.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center