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Immune-inflammatory processes have been implicated in schizophrenia (SCH), but their specificity is not clear.
To identify potential differential intra-/intercellular biochemical pathways controlling immune-inflammatory response and their oxidative-nitrosative impact on SCH patients, compared with bipolar disorder (BD) patients and healthy controls (HC).
Cross-sectional, naturalistic study of a cohort of SCH patients (n=123) and their controls [BD (n=102) and HC (n=80)].
ANCOVA (or Quade test) controlling for age and gender when comparing the three groups, and controlling for age, gender, length of illness, cigarettes per day, and body mass index (BMI) when comparing SCH and BD.
Pro-inflammatory biomarkers: Expression of COX-1 was statistically higher in SCH and BD than HC (P<0.0001; P<0.0001); NFκB and PGE2 were statistically higher in SCH compared with BD (P=0.001; P<0.0001) and HC (P=0.003; P<0.0001); NLRP3 was higher in BD than HC (P=0.005); and CPR showed a gradient among the three groups. Anti-inflammatory biomarkers: BD patients had lower PPARγ and higher 15d-PGJ2 levels than SCH (P=0.005; P=0.008) and HC (P=0.001; P=0.001). Differences between SCH and BD: previous markers of SCH (NFκB and PGE2) and BD (PPARγ and 15d-PGJ2) remained statistically significant and, interestingly, iNOS and COX-2 (pro-inflammatory biomarkers) levels were statistically higher in SCH than BD (P=0.019; P=0.040).
This study suggests a specific immune-inflammatory biomarker pattern for established SCH (NFκB, PGE2, iNOS, and COX-2) that differentiates it from BD and HC. In future, their pharmacological modulation may constitute a promising therapeutic target.
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