We here present data on immune gene expression of chemokines, chemokine receptors, cytokines and regulatory T-cell (T-reg) markers in chronic patients suffering from either schizophrenia (SCZ, N = 20) or bipolar disorder (BD = 20) compared with healthy controls (HCs, N = 20). We extracted RNA from peripheral blood mononuclear cells and performed real-time (RT)-PCR to measure mRNA levels of chemokines, chemokine receptors, cytokines and T-reg markers. All the analyses were Bonferroni-corrected. The classical monocyte activation (M1) markers il6, ccl3 were significantly increased in BD as compared with both HC and SCZ patients (P = 0.03 and P = 0.002; P = 0.024 and P = 0.021, respectively), whereas markers of alternative (M2) monocyte activation ccl1, ccl22 and il10 were coherently decreased (controls: P = 0.01, P = 0.001 and P = 0.09; SCZ subjects: P = 0.02, P = 0.05 and P = 0.011, respectively). Concerning T-cell markers, BD patients had compared with HC downregulated ccr5 (P = 0.02) and upregulated il4 (P = 0.04) and compared with both healthy and SCZ individuals downregulated ccl2 (P = 0.006 and P = 0.003) and tgfβ (P = 0.004 and P = 0.007, respectively). No significant associations were found between any immune gene expression and clinical variables (prior hospitalizations, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, medications' dosages and lifetime administration). Although some markers are expressed by different immune cell types, these findings suggest a coherent increased M1/decrease M2 signature in the peripheral blood of BD patients with potential Th1/Th2 shift. In contrast, all the explored immune marker levels were preserved in SCZ. Further larger studies are needed to investigate the relevance of inflammatory response in BD, trying to correlate it to psychopathology, treatment and outcome measures and, possibly, to brain connectivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience