Immune and metabolic alterations in first episode psychosis (FEP) patients

the GET UP Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The molecular underpinnings associated to first episode psychosis (FEP) remains to be elucidated, but compelling evidence supported an association of FEP with blood alterations in biomarkers related to immune system, growth factors and metabolism regulators. Many of these studies have not been already confirmed in larger samples or have not considered the FEP diagnostic subgroups. In order to identify biochemical signatures of FEP, the serum levels of the growth factors BDNF and VEGF, the immune regulators IL-1RA, IL-6, IL-10 and IL-17, RANTES/CCL5, MIP-1b/CCL4, IL-8 and the metabolic regulators C-peptide, ghrelin, GIP, GLP-1, glucagon, insulin, leptin, PAI-1, resistin and visfatin were analysed in 260 subjects collected in the GET UP project. The results indicated an increase of MIP-1b/CCL4, VEGF, IL-6 and PAI-1, while IL-17, ghrelin, glucagon and GLP-1 were decreased in the whole sample of FEP patients (p < 0.01 for all markers except for PAI-1 p < 0.05). No differences were evidenced for these markers among the diagnostic groups that constitute the FEP sample, whereas IL-8 is increased only in patients with a diagnosis of affective psychosis. The principal component analysis (PCA) and variable importance analysis (VIA) indicated that MIP-1b/CCL4, ghrelin, glucagon, VEGF and GLP-1 were the variables mostly altered in FEP patients. On the contrary, none of the analysed markers nor a combination of them can discriminate between FEP diagnostic subgroups. These data evidence a profile of immune and metabolic alterations in FEP patients, providing new information on the molecular mechanism associated to the psychosis onset for the development of preventive strategies and innovative treatment targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-324
Number of pages10
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2018


  • Cytokines and chemokines
  • FEP
  • Ghrelin
  • GLP-1
  • Glucagon
  • IL-8
  • Metabolic markers
  • MIP-1b/CCL4
  • VEGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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