Comparison of peripheral and central schizophrenia biomarker profiles

PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e46368. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046368. Epub 2012 Oct 30.


We have recently shown that a molecular biomarker signature comprised of inflammatory, hormonal and growth factors occurs in the blood serum from first onset schizophrenia patients. Here, we use the same platform to investigate post mortem brain tissue (Brodmann area 10) from schizophrenia patients who were mainly chronically ill and drug treated. Twenty-one analytes are differentially expressed in post-mortem brain tissue. Comparison with our previous mRNA profiling studies of the same patient samples in another frontal cortical area showed that 9 of these molecules were also altered at the transcriptional level. Furthermore, 9 of the molecules were also altered in serum from living first onset schizophrenia patients compared to controls. We propose a model in which the brain and periphery are coordinated through hormones and other regulatory molecules released into the blood via the diffuse neuroendocrine system. These findings provide further evidence for the systemic nature of schizophrenia and give added validity to the concept that schizophrenia can be investigated through studies of blood-based biomarkers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autopsy
  • Biomarkers* / blood
  • Biomarkers* / metabolism
  • Brain* / metabolism
  • Brain* / pathology
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peripheral Nervous System / metabolism
  • Peripheral Nervous System / pathology
  • Schizophrenia* / blood
  • Schizophrenia* / genetics
  • Schizophrenia* / pathology


  • Biomarkers

Grant support

This research was supported by the Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI),, and the European Union FP7 SchizDX research programme (grant reference 223427), The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.