Effects of antipsychotics on the inflammatory response system of patients with schizophrenia in peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures

Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2013 Dec;11(3):144-51. doi: 10.9758/cpn.2013.11.3.144. Epub 2013 Dec 24.


Objective: We investigated the effects of antipsychotics on immune-challenged peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) cultures.

Methods: Blood samples were collected from twelve patients with first-episode schizophrenia. The PBMCs were separated and cultures were prepared and stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly[I:C]), and then separately treated with a typical antipsychotic (haloperidol) or atypical antipsychotic (clozapine, quetiapine, or risperidone). Pro-inflammatory (interferon gamma [IFN-γ]) and anti-inflammatory (interleukin [IL]-4 and IL-10) cytokine levels were measured in the LPS- or poly(I:C)-stimulated PBMC cultures treated with antipsychotics.

Results: Haloperidol and quetiapine significantly increased the IL-4 levels (p<0.05) in LPS-stimulated PBMC cultures, while clozapine and quetiapine significantly enhanced the IL-4 levels (p<0.05) in poly(I:C)-stimulated PBMC cultures. Only treatment with haloperidol resulted in a significant increase in IL-10 production (p<0.05) in LPS-stimulated PBMC cultures, whereas clozapine, quetiapine, and risperidone treatment significantly increased IL-10 production (p<0.05) in poly(I:C)-stimulated PBMC cultures. All of the antipsychotics reduced the IFN-γ level significantly (p<0.05) in LPS- and poly(I:C)-stimulated PBMC cultures.

Conclusion: Antipsychotic treatment altered immune function by raising the levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-4 and IL-10) and suppressing the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IFN-γ).

Keywords: Antipsychotic; Cytokines; Lipopolysaccharides; Schizophrenia.