Immune‐inflammatory markers in schizophrenia: comparison to normal controls and effects of clozapine

M. Maes*, H. Y. Meltzer, E. Bosmans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to investigate immune‐inflammatory markers in schizophrenia and the effects of chronic treatment with clozapine, an atypical antipsychotic agent, on these variables. Toward this end, we measured interleukin‐6 (IL‐6), soluble IL‐6 receptor (sIL‐6R) and sIL‐2R in the blood of 26 normal controls and 14 schizophrenic patients before and after treatment with clozapine. The sIL‐2R and IL‐6 levels were significantly higher in younger (<35 years) schizophrenic subjects than in normal controls and older (≥ 35 years) schizophrenic subjects. The sIL‐6R levels were significantly lower in schizophrenic subjects than in normal controls. Chronic treatment with clozapine significantly increased the blood concentration of sIL‐2R; the increases in the latter were significantly related to the dose of clozapine but not to changes in severity of positive or negative symptoms. We conclude that: (a) schizophrenia in younger people is accompanied by increased IL‐6 and sIL‐2R secretion; and (b) subchronic treatment with clozapine increases sIL‐2R levels. Increased plasma sIL‐2R may be one mechanism by which neuroleptics exhibit their immunosuppressive effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-351
Number of pages6
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1994


  • clozapine
  • immunity
  • interleukin
  • schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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