A pro-inflammatory phenotype is associated with behavioural traits in children with Prader–Willi syndrome

Maja Krefft*, Dorota Frydecka, Gil Zalsman, Małgorzata Krzystek-Korpacka, Robert Śmigiel, Katarzyna Gębura, Katarzyna Bogunia-Kubik, Błażej Misiak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several lines of evidence indicate that immune-inflammatory alterations are widely observed in various mental disorders. Genetic syndromes with high risk of psychiatric disorders may constitute a model for studies investigating this phenomenon. One of such genetically determined neurodevelopmental disorders is the Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS). Therefore, we aimed to profile a broad panel of immune-inflammatory markers in patients with PWS, taking into account co-morbid psychopathology. Participants were 20 children with PWS, and 20 healthy children matched for age, sex and body mass index. Behavioural symptoms and co-occurring psychopathological symptoms were assessed using the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL). We found significantly elevated levels of interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-13 in patients with PWS. There were significant positive correlations between the levels of IL-1β and scores of the following externalizing and internalizing CBCL domains: withdrawn/depressed, social problems, thought problems, attention problems, delinquent and aggressive behaviour in PWS children. Moreover, higher levels of IL-13 were associated with more severe psychopathology in terms of social and attention problems as well as delinquent and aggressive behaviour. Our findings imply that subclinical inflammation, observed as elevated IL-1β and IL-13 levels, appears only in PWS patients and is correlated to several psychopathological symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-908
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


FundersFunder number
Foundation for Children with Rare Diseases
Polish Assistance Association for People
Narodowe Centrum NaukiUMO-2015/17/N/NZ5/00148


    • Autism
    • Depression
    • Immunity
    • Inflammation
    • Psychosis
    • Rare disease


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