In vivo immunomodulatory effects of clozapine in schizophrenia

Michael Maes*, Eugene Bosmans, Gunter Kenis, Raf De Jong, Ronald S. Smith, Herbert Y. Meltzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


Recently, there have been some reports that schizophrenia is accompanied by an immune-inflammatory response, characterized by increased secretion of interleukin-6 (IL-6), soluble IL-2 receptor (sIL-2) and lower plasma levels of CC16 (Clara cell protein), an endogenous anti-cytokine. It was shown that clozapine, an atypical antipsychotic drug, may increase the plasma levels of sIL-2R and pro-inflammatory cytokines. This study was carried out in order to examine serum IL-6, IL-6R, CC16, IL-1R antagonist (IL-1RA), transferrin receptor (TfR) and sCD8 antigen, both before and after treatment with clozapine in schizophrenic subjects versus normal controls. Schizophrenic patients showed significantly higher plasma IL-6R and IL-1RA and lower plasma CC16 than normal controls. Treatment with clozapine significantly increased plasma sCD8, IL-6, CC16 and IL-1RA concentrations. The clozapine-induced increments in plasma IL-6 and CC16 appeared during the first 2 weeks of treatment, whereas the increases in plasma sCD8 and IL-1RA appeared after 5 weeks. Clozapine appears to have complex in vivo immunomodulatory effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-225
Number of pages5
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Aug 29 1997


  • CC16
  • CD8
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-6
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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