In experiments designed to investigate transmission, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients with schizophrenia and neurological disease (Huntington's chorea and multiple sclerosis) which had been found to induce cytopathic effects in human embryonic fibroblast cell culture was injected intracerebrally into mice, hamsters and marmosets (small New World primates). No evidence was obtained of transmission to mice or hamsters. A total of 15 marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) was injected intracerebrally with CSF [8 with samples from 4 patients with schizophrenia. 3 with samples from patients with neurological disease (2 with Huntington's chorea and 1 with multiple sclerosis) and 4 with samples from 3 patients without neurological or psychiatric disease] and was observed over a period of 2½ years.
Analysis of variance on data obtained from behavioural observations averaged over 6-month periods revealed that animals injected with CSF from patients with schizophrenia and neurological disease became progressively more inactive when compared with animals injected with CSF from control patients. The change detected by behavioural observation was confirmed as a difference 2 and 2½ years after injection by automated activity monitoring.
There was an incidence of reproductive anomalies (including two occipital encephalocoeles) in the females in the experimental group, but the numbers are too small to draw firm conclusions from this observation.
Many reported differences in biological samples from schizophrenic patients and normal controls have subsequently been found to be due to factors unrelated to the disease state. This may prove to be the case with the changes observed in this experiment. Nevertheless, the fact that marmosets injected with CSF from patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disease, including schizophrenia, subsequently differed in their behaviour from those injected with control CSF warrants further investigation.