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      ICAM G241A Polymorphism and Soluble ICAM-1 Serum Levels: Evidence for an Active Immune Process in Schizophrenia

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          Objectives: We have previously reported reduced serum levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) in schizophrenic patients. A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of the ICAM-1 gene was described at position 241. The G→A SNP results in a nonsynonymous amino acid exchange of the ICAM-1 protein, and the A allele was shown to be also associated with several immunological disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. Methods: We investigated 70 schizophrenic patients and 128 unrelated healthy control persons regarding the relationship between the serum levels of sICAM-1 and the ICAM-1 G214A polymorphism. Results: We were able to replicate our previous finding of reduced sICAM-1 levels in schizophrenia. Healthy control persons carrying the polymorphic A allele showed markedly lower sICAM-1 serum levels than carriers of the homozygous GG wild type (p < 0.004). In contrast, no significant difference in the sICAM-1 serum levels were seen regarding the G241A genotype distribution in schizophrenic patients. Conclusion: We hypothesize that the biochemical effect of the G241A SNP is masked in schizophrenic patients, indicating a disease-related mechanism leading to reduced levels of sICAM-1 in schizophrenia.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Schizophrenia: genes and environment.

           Ming Tsuang (2000)
          The historical and genetic foundations of our current understanding of schizophrenia are reviewed, as are the present and future directions for research. Genetic epidemiological investigations, including family, twin, and adoption studies have confirmed the contributions of genetic and environmental determinants of schizophrenia. For example, identical twins show average concordance rates of only 50%; rates of 100% would be expected on the basis of genetic equivalence alone. Genetic factors may cause errors in brain development and synaptic connections. A broad range of environmental components may further damage the brain. Biological components may include pregnancy and delivery complications, such as intrauterine fetal hypoxia, infections, and malnutrition. Primarily nonbiological components may include psychosocial stressors, such as residence in an urban area and dysfunctional family communication. It is likely that the environmental factors interact with the genetic liability in a negative manner to produce disorders in the schizophrenic spectrum. Genetic and environmental components of the disorder are examined, as well as their interactions in producing either neurodevelopmental syndromes or schizophrenia itself. The implication of these findings for prevention and treatment are considered.
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            Beneficial antipsychotic effects of celecoxib add-on therapy compared to risperidone alone in schizophrenia.

            Abnormalities in the immune system in schizophrenia have been described. However, important findings such as high levels of activating cytokines in the CSF and signs of CNS inflammation have been controversial. The authors conducted a trial of the new selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor celecoxib, an immunomodulatory drug, in schizophrenic patients to evaluate its therapeutic effects. In a prospective, double-blind evaluation, 50 patients with an acute exacerbation of schizophrenia were randomly assigned to either risperidone plus celecoxib or risperidone plus placebo. After a washout period, 25 patients received 2-6 mg/day of risperidone plus placebo and 25 received risperidone plus 400 mg/day of celecoxib for 5 weeks. The treatment effect was calculated by analysis of covariance. There were no significant differences between groups in age, sex, duration or severity of disease or psychopathology, or risperidone dose or plasma level. Over 5 weeks, both groups of patients showed significant improvement in scores on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and on all subscales. However, the celecoxib group showed significantly greater improvement in the total score. Additional treatment with celecoxib has significant positive effects on the therapeutic action of risperidone with regard to total schizophrenia psychopathology. Moreover, the fact that treatment with an immunomodulatory drug showed beneficial effects on schizophrenia symptoms indicates that immune dysfunction in schizophrenia is not just an epiphenomenon but is related to the pathomechanism of the disorder. However, a nonimmunological therapeutic effect of celecoxib mediated by the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor has to be taken into account.
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              T-helper-1 and T-helper-2 responses in psychiatric disorders.

              The expanding field of psychoneuroimmunology has markedly increased knowledge about the interference of the central nervous system and the immune system. Immunological abnormalities in psychiatric patients have been repeatedly described in the last century. Modern concepts of immunology and the growing knowledge of psychoneuroimmunology may help in understanding the distinct immunological mechanisms in psychiatric disorders. One of these concepts regarding the adaptive immune system is the discrimination between Th1-like cell-mediated and Th2-like antibody-related immune responses. This article systematically describes alterations of Th1- or Th2-specific parameters in the major psychiatric disorders schizophrenia, major depression, and Alzheimer's disease. There are several hints of associations of these two distinct arms of immune response with subgroups of schizophrenia and major depression. The immunological research in Alzheimer's disease has already led to a preclinical model of immunotherapy. Categorization of immune parameters may also help to identify a possible immune-related pathophysiology in psychotic and affective disorders, resulting in specific treatment strategies. Copyright 2001 Elsevier Science.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                March 2005
                07 March 2005
                : 12
                : 1
                : 54-59
                Psychiatric Hospital, Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich, Munich, Germany
                82364 Neuroimmunomodulation 2005;12:54–59
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 3, References: 45, Pages: 6
                Original Paper


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