Season of birth and inflammatory response system in schizophrenia

A. Carlo Altamura, Roberta Bassetti, Luisella Bocchio, Annalisa Santini, Emanuela Mundo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Infective agents (e.g., viruses) together with functional alterations of the immune system have been hypothesized to be implicated in the multifactorial pathogenesis of schizophrenia. The viral hypothesis of schizophrenia has been supported by the observation of birth peaks in winter seasons, prenatal exposure to virus epidemics and specific geographic patterns. On the other hand, not all the data published have shown consistent results supporting the immune hypothesis. Thus, it is likely that immune response factors may play a role in the pathogenesis of the disease only in specific subgroups of patients. The aim of the study was to investigate for the presence of differences of IL-6, IL-6R, gp130 and CC16 among four groups of chronic schizophrenic patients categorized according to the season of birth. We hypothesized that patients born in winter and spring would have had increased values of these cytokines. No significant differences were found among the four groups in any of the measures considered. These preliminary results appear to exclude a major role of the season of birth in determining reported interleukins system alterations in chronic schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)879-880
Number of pages2
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003


  • Cytokines
  • Schizophrenia
  • Season of birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology


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