Schizophrenia patients with a history of childhood trauma have a pro-inflammatory phenotype

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Dennison, Una
McKernan, Declan P.
Cryan, John F.
Dinan, Timothy G.
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Cambridge University Press
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Background. Increasing evidence indicates that childhood trauma is a risk factor for schizophrenia and patients with this syndrome have a pro-inflammatory phenotype. We tested the hypothesis that the pro-inflammatory phenotype in schizophrenia is associated with childhood trauma and that patients without a history of such trauma have a similar immune profile to healthy controls. Method. We recruited 40 schizophrenia patients and 40 controls, all of whom completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) techniques, we measured peripheral levels of interleukin (IL)-1b, IL-6, IL-8 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-a. These immune parameters were compared in schizophrenia with childhood trauma, schizophrenia without childhood trauma and healthy controls. Results. Patients with childhood trauma had higher levels of IL-6 and TNF-a than patients without trauma and healthy controls, and TNF-a levels correlated with the extent of the trauma. Patients with no trauma had similar immune profiles to controls. Conclusions. Childhood trauma drives changes, possibly epigenetic, that generate a pro-inflammatory phenotype.
Schizophrenia , Childhood trauma , Pro-inflammatory Phenotype , ELISA techniques , Interleukin , Tumour necrosis Factor , Inflammation
U. Dennison, D. McKernan, J. Cryan and T. Dinan (2012). Schizophrenia patients with a history of childhood trauma have a proinflammatory phenotype. Psychological Medicine, 42(9), pp 1865-1871 doi:10.1017/S0033291712000074
© Cambridge University Press, 2012