Background: Increased immune sensitivity to gluten has been reported in schizophrenia. However, studies are inconsistent about this association.
Methods: The sample of 471 individuals included 129 with recent-onset psychosis, 191 with multi-episode schizophrenia, and 151 controls. Immunoglobulin (Ig)G and IgA antibodies to gliadin and to tissue transglutaminase, and IgG antibodies to deamidated gliadin were measured. Quantitative levels of antibodies in the psychiatric groups were compared with controls. All participants were categorized as to whether their levels of antibodies met standardized cutoffs for celiac disease. HLA DQ2 and HLA DQ8 alleles were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction.
Results: Individuals with recent-onset psychosis had increased levels of IgG (odds ratio [OR] 5.50; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.65-11.42) and IgA (OR 2.75; 95% CI 1.31-5.75) antibodies to gliadin compared with control subjects. Individuals with multi-episode schizophrenia also had significantly increased levels of IgG antibodies to gliadin (OR 6.19; 95% CI 2.70-14.16). IgG antibodies to deamidated gliadin and IgA antibodies to tissue transglutaminase were not elevated in either psychiatric group, and fewer than 1% of individuals in each of the groups had levels of these antibodies predictive of celiac disease. There were no significant differences in the distribution of the HLA DQ2/8 alleles among the groups.
Conclusions: Individuals with recent-onset psychosis and with multi-episode schizophrenia who have increased antibodies to gliadin may share some immunologic features of celiac disease, but their immune response to gliadin differs from that of celiac disease.
Copyright 2010 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.