Serum levels of IL-6, IL-10 and TNF-α in patients with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia: Differences in pro- and anti-inflammatory balance

Mauricio Kunz, Keila Maria Ceresér, Pedro Domingues Goi, Gabriel Rodrigo Fries, Antonio L. Teixeira, Brisa Simões Fernandes, Paulo Silva Belmonte-de-Abreu, Márcia Kauer-Sant'Anna, Flavio Kapczinski, Clarissa Severino Gama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Previous reports suggest that cytokines act as potential mediators of the interaction between the immune and neuroendocrine systems, and that a proinflammatory state may be associated with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The aim is to compare cytokine levels in both disorders. Method: Twenty euthymic bipolar disorder patients, 53 chronic stabilized schizophrenia patients and 80 healthy controls were recruited. Subjects were all non-smokers and non-obese. Cytokines TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-10 were examined by sandwich ELISA. Results: IL-6 levels were increased in schizophrenia patients when compared to controls (p < 0.0001) and euthymic bipolar disorder patients (p < 0.0001). IL-6 levels were no different in controls compared to euthymic bipolar disorder patients (p = 0.357). IL-10 was lower in controls compared to schizophrenia patients (p = 0.001) or to bipolar disorder patients (p = 0.004). There was no significant difference in TNF-α serum levels among the groups (p = 0.284). Gender-based classification did not significantly alter these findings, and no correlation was found between the antipsychotic dose administered and cytokine levels in patients with schizophrenia. Discussion: These findings evidence a chronic immune activation in schizophrenia. Bipolar disorder seems to present an episode-related inflammatory syndrome. Increased anti-inflammatory factor IL-10 in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia suggests different patterns of inflammatory balance between these two disorders. Results further support the need to investigate cytokines as possible biomarkers of disease activity or treatment response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-274
Number of pages7
JournalRevista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interleukin-6
  • Schizophrenia
  • Tumor necrosis factor-alpha

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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