Research on psychoimmunology

Carlo Lorenzo Cazzullo, Daria Trabattoni, Marina Saresella, Giorgio Annoni, Beatrice Arosio, Mario Clerici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several lines of evidence suggest a role for the immune system in the multifactorial pathogenesis of schizophrenia and other psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. Later, the role of immune mediators like cytokines became a source of main interest related to the process on inflammation in the CNS. In this article we report the results of our research on cytokines in a different groups of psychiatric patients following their clinical symptomatology and the course of diseases. In particular, we observed a prevalent type 1 cytokine profile in acute multiple sclerosis patients, while IL- 10 production predominated in stable multiple sclerosis individuals. The modifications of cytokine profiles observed in schizophrenic patients suggests that clinical improvement is associated with a reduction in the inflammatory-like situation present in those not currently under treatment. Our data on Alzheimer's disease (AD) support the role of the inflammatory process in the pathogenesis of AD and reinforce the hypothesis that the neurodegenerative processes in the AD patients are associated with an abnormal antigen-specific immune response. The activation of immune system mechanisms observed in obsessive compulsive disorders could be due to the combination of endogenous (hormonal alterations associated to the modifications in the hypothalamicpituitary- adrenal axis) and exogenous (viral or bacterial infections) factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-123
Number of pages5
JournalWorld Journal of Biological Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • cytokines
  • multiple sclerosis
  • obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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