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Increased serum soluble interleukin-2 receptors in schizophrenic monozygotic twins.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla 92093.


There is a confusing history of immune findings associated with schizophrenia. At least some of these discrepant results may be artifacts caused by heterogeneity. In an attempt to decrease heterogeneity, we studied three groups of monozygotic twins who were either discordant for schizophrenia, concordant and ill, or concordant and well. This comparison minimizes environmental and genetic variance, and heightens differences that are actually due to the disorder. Overall, schizophrenic subjects had higher levels of serum soluble interleukin-2 receptors (SIL-2Rs) than unaffected individuals (480.8, SD 238.6 U/ml vs 380.9, SD 170.6 U/ml; F = 5.256, df = 1.61, P = 0.02). When data from discordant and concordant twin groups were analysed separately, both the discordant ill twins (P = 0.06) and concordant ill twin pairs (P = 0.08) showed trends towards higher serum SIL-2R levels than their respective control groups. These data contribute to the growing body of evidence that immune activation is associated with some forms of schizophrenia.

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