The relationship between serum cytokine levels and degree of psychosis in patients with schizophrenia

Shani Dahan, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi, Ayala Yogev, Mayan Bar-Gad, Vivian Barak, Howard Amital*, Daniela Amital

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several observations indicate that cytokine concentrations might also relate to the severity of the psychosis. In this study we assessed whether inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine concentrations are associated with the degree of the psychotic manifestations. A group of 41 patients with schizophrenia suffering from an acute psychosis leading to hospitalization in a psychiatric ward were assessed for the intensity of their psychotic manifestations by the PANSS score. Serum IL-2R, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 were analyzed by commercial ELISA kits. These patients were compared to controls without schizophrenia. At the univariate analysis, statistically significant elevated levels of the cytokines IL-6, IL-2R and IL-8 were detected in the sera of the patients with schizophrenia compared to controls. At the multivariate analysis, statistically significance held only for IL-2R concentration. Furthermore, positive correlation was found between symptom severity as measured by the PANSS and IL-6 levels as well as IL-2R levels. In Conclusion, our data indicate that elevated serum concentrations of IL-6, IL-8 and IL-2R are associated with severe clinical symptoms measured by the total, general, negative and positive scores of the PANSS scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-472
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Cytokines
  • IL-10
  • IL-6
  • Inflammation
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia


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