Pro-/Anti-inflammatory Dysregulation in Patients With First Episode of Psychosis: Toward an Integrative Inflammatory Hypothesis of Schizophrenia

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Background: Schizophrenia is a chronic syndrome of unknown etiology, predominantly defined by signs of psychosis. The onset of the disorder occurs typically in late adolescence or early adulthood. Efforts to study pathophysiological mechanisms in early stages of the disease are crucial in order to prompt intervention. Methods: Case-control study of first-episode psychotic (FEP) patients and matched controls. We recruited 117 patients during the first year after their FEP according to the DSM-IV criteria and recruited 106 gender-, race-, and age-matched controls between September 2010 and June 2011. Results: Biochemical studies carried out in peripheral mononuclear blood cells (PMBC) and plasma evidence a significant increase in intracellular components of a main proinflammatory pathway, along with a significant decrease in the anti-inflammatory ones. Multivariate logistic regression analyses identified the expression of inducible isoforms of nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase in PMBC and homocysteine plasma levels as the most reliable potential risk factors and the inhibitor of the inflammatory transcription factor NFκB, IκBα, and the anti-inflammatory prostaglandin 15d-PGJ2 as potential protection factors. Discussion: Taken as a whole, the results of this study indicate robust phenotypical differences at the cellular machinery level in PMBC of patients with FEP. Although more scientific evidence is needed, the determination of multiple components of pro- and anti-inflammatory cellular pathways including the activity of nuclear receptors has interesting potential as biological markers and potential risk/protective factors for FEP. Due to its soluble nature, a notable finding in this study is that the anti-inflammatory mediator 15d-PGJ2 might be used as plasmatic biomarker for first episodes of psychosis.
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García-Bueno B, Bioque M, Mac-Dowell KS, Barcones MF, Martínez-Cengotitabengoa M, Pina-Camacho L, Rodríguez-Jiménez R, Sáiz PA, Castro C, Lafuente A, Santabárbara J, González-Pinto A, Parellada M, Rubio G, García-Portilla MP, Micó JA, Bernardo M, Leza JC. Pro-/anti-inflammatory dysregulation in patients with first episode of psychosis: toward an integrative inflammatory hypothesis of schizophrenia. Schizophr Bull. 2014 Mar;40(2):376-87. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbt001. PMID: 23486748.