Immune System Abnormalities in Schizophrenia: An Integrative View and Translational Perspectives

Evgeny A. Ermakov, Mark M. Melamud, Valentina N. Buneva, Svetlana A. Ivanova

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The immune system is generally known to be the primary defense mechanism against pathogens. Any pathological conditions are reflected in anomalies in the immune system parameters. Increasing evidence suggests the involvement of immune dysregulation and neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. In this systematic review, we summarized the available evidence of abnormalities in the immune system in schizophrenia. We analyzed impairments in all immune system components and assessed the level of bias in the available evidence. It has been shown that schizophrenia is associated with abnormalities in all immune system components: from innate to adaptive immunity and from humoral to cellular immunity. Abnormalities in the immune organs have also been observed in schizophrenia. Evidence of increased C-reactive protein, dysregulation of cytokines and chemokines, elevated levels of neutrophils and autoantibodies, and microbiota dysregulation in schizophrenia have the lowest risk of bias. Peripheral immune abnormalities contribute to neuroinflammation, which is associated with cognitive and neuroanatomical alterations and contributes to the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. However, signs of severe inflammation are observed in only about 1/3 of patients with schizophrenia. Immunological parameters may help identify subgroups of individuals with signs of inflammation who well respond to anti-inflammatory therapy. Our integrative approach also identified gaps in knowledge about immune abnormalities in schizophrenia, and new horizons for the research are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number880568
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • antibodies
  • B cell
  • cytokines
  • immune system
  • inflammation
  • schizophrenia
  • T cell

OECD FOS+WOS

  • 3.02.VE PSYCHIATRY

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