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Biol Psychiatry. 1994 Feb 1;35(3):173-8.

Changes of immunological functions after acute exacerbation in schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Teikyo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


We investigated the changes of immunological functions in 14 schizophrenic patients (DSM-III-R; six men and eight women) who were hospitalized due to acute exacerbation of schizophrenia. The following immunological functions were studied on admission, 4 and 8 weeks after admission: serum immunoglobulins (Ig)G, A, and M; serum complement CH50; lymphocyte responses to mitogens (phytohemagglutinin, concanavalin A, and pokeweed mitogen); lymphocyte subpopulations (CD3%, 4%, 8%, 16%, 20%, 25%, and 56%); and natural killer cell (NK) activity. Psychological status of the patients, which was assessed by using Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, improved gradually after admission. Changes in immune functions were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance and a randomized block analysis of variance with multiple comparison. NK activity on admission was significantly lower than those at 4 and 8 weeks after admission (p < .03). Serum IgG levels on admission and at 4 weeks after admission were significantly decreased as compared with those at 8 weeks after admission (p < .05); they were also lower than those in controls (p < .05). CD56% on admission and CD25% 4 weeks after admission were significantly increased as compared with controls (p < .05). These results indicate that several immunological functions might change related to time course after acute exacerbation. It is suggested that clinical conditions be carefully taken into consideration to evaluate immunological studies in schizophrenia.

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