Identifying peripheral biomarkers of depression and suicidality: Toxoplasma gondii seropositivity, inflammatory cytokines and kynurenine metabolites
Brundin, L., Postolache, T.
Biological Psychiatry 2015; 77:302-302
Inflammatory molecular signature associated with infectious agents in psychosis
Hayes, L. N., Severance, E. G., Leek, J. T., Gressitt, K. L., Rohleder, C., Coughlin, J. M., Leweke, F. M., Yolken, R. H., Sawa, A.
Schizophrenia Bulletin 2014; 40: 963-972
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Schizophrenia (SZ) is a devastating mental condition with onset in young adulthood. The identification of molecular biomarkers that reflect illness pathology is crucial. Recent evidence suggested immune and inflammatory cascades in conjunction with infection may play a role in the pathology. To address this question, we investigated molecular changes in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from antipsychoticnaive patients with SZ and at risk mental status for psychosis (ARMS), in comparison with healthy controls (HCs). We measured 90 analytes using a broad multiplex platform focusing on immune and inflammatory cascades then selected 35 with our quality reporting criteria for further analysis. We also examined Toxoplasma gondii (TG) and herpes simplex virus 1 antibody levels in CSF. We report that expression of 15 molecules was significantly altered in the patient groups (SZ and ARMS) compared with HCs. The majority of these molecular changes (alpha-2-macroglobulin [alpha 2M], fibrinogen, interleukin-6 receptor [IL-6R], stem cell factor [SCF], transforming growth factor alpha [TGF alpha], tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 [TNFR2], IL-8, monocyte chemotactic protein 2 [MCP-2/CCL8], testosterone [for males], angiotensin converting enzyme [ACE], and epidermal growth factor receptor) were consistent between SZ and ARMS patients, suggesting these may represent trait changes associated with psychotic conditions in general. Interestingly, many of these analytes (alpha 2M, fibrinogen, IL-6R, SCF, TGF alpha, TNFR2, IL-8, MCP-2/CCL8, and testosterone [for males]) were exacerbated in subjects with ARMS compared with subjects with SZ. Although further studies are needed, we optimistically propose that these molecules may be good candidates for predictive markers for psychosis from an early stage. Lastly, reduction of IL-6R, TGF alpha, and ACE was correlated with positivity of TG antibody in the CSF, suggesting possible involvement of TG infection in the pathology.
Association between antibodies to multiple infectious and food antigens and new onset schizophrenia among US military personnel
Li, Y. Z., Weber, N. S., Fisher, J. A., Yolken, R. H., Cowan, D. N., Larsen, R. A., Niebuhr, D. W.
Schizophrenia Research 2013; 151: 36-42
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Introduction: Multiple studies have documented immune activation in many individuals with schizophrenia suggesting that antigens capable of generating a prolonged immune response may be important environmental factors in many cases of this disorder. While existing studies have found single-agent associations of antibodies to food and neurotropic infectious agents with schizophrenia, a simultaneous examination of multiple agents may shed light on agent interactions or possible etiopathogenic pathways. Methods: We used traditional regression and novel statistical techniques to examine associations of single and combined infectious and food antigens with schizophrenia. We tested 6106 serum samples from 855 cases and 1165 matched controls. Results: Higher antibody levels to casein were borderline significant in the prediction of schizophrenia (HR = 1.08,p = 0.06). Study participants with higher cytomegalovirus (CMV) lgG antibody levels had a reduced risk of developing schizophrenia (HR = 0.90; p = 0.02). While lgG antibodies to gliadin, Toxoplasma gondii, vaccinia, measles, and human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) showed no significant independent associations with schizophrenia, the increase in antibody levels to several combinations of agents, to include casein, measles, CMV, T gondii and vaccinia, was predictive of an 18-34% increase in the risk of developing schizophrenia. Conclusion: Certain patterns of antibodies, involving some agents, were predictive of developing schizophrenia, with the magnitude of association rising when the level of antibodies increased to two or more agents. A heightened antibody response to a combination of several infectious food antigens might be an indicator of an altered immune response to antigenic stimuli
Autism spectrum disorders may be due to cerebral toxoplasmosis associated with chronic neuroinflammation causing persistent hypercytokinemia that resulted in an increased lipid peroxidation, oxidative stress, and depressed metabolism of endogenous and exogenous substances
Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 2010; 4: 119-155
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Worldwide, approximately 2 billion people are chronically infected with Toxoplasma gondii with largely yet unknown consequences. Patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) similarly as mice with chronic toxoplasmosis have persistent neuroinflammation, hypercytokinemia with hypermetabolism associated with enhanced lipid peroxidation, and extreme changes in the weight resulting in obesity or wasting. Data presented in this review suggest that environmental triggering factors such as pregnancy, viral/bacterial infections, vaccinations, medications, and other substances caused reactivation of latent cerebral toxoplasmosis because of changes in intensity of latent central nervous system T. gondii infection/inflammation and finally resulted in development of ASD. Examples of such environmental factors together with their respective biomarker abnormalities are: pregnancy (increased NO, IL-1 beta, TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-10, prolactin: decreased IFN-gamma, IL-12), neuroborreliosis (increased IL-1 beta, sIL-1R2, TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, IL-18, transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1)), vital infections (increased IL-1 beta, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma/alpha/beta,TGF-beta 1), thimerosal (increased IL-5, IL-13; decreased IFN-gamma,TNF-alpha,IL-6, IL-12p70, NOS), and valproic acid (increased NO, reactive oxygen species; decreased TNF-alpha, IL-6, IFN-gamma). The imbalances in pro- and antiinflammatory processes could markedly hinder [lost defense mechanisms important for immune control of the parasite, such as the production of NO, cytokines, and reactive oxygen/nitrogen species, tryptophan degradation by indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and/or tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase, limitation of the availability of intracellular iron to T gondii, and the mechanisms mediated by an IFN-gamma responsive gene family. These fluctuations could result in a recurrent profuse multiplication of T. gondii in the brain associated with persistent neuroinflammation, chronic overproduction of pro- and antiinflammatory cytokines, and NO causing increased oxidative stress, and significantly depressed activity of several enzymes including cytochrome P450 monooxygenase family responsible for metabolism of physiological substrates and xenobiotics, such as steroids, fatty acids, prostaglandins, drugs, pollutants, and carcinogens, finally leading to development of ASD. This reasoning may be supported by such abnormal metabolic events as: (1) patients with ASD have significantly decreased melatonin levels caused by marked deficit in acetylserotonin methyltransferase activity, possibly resulting from maternal and/or fetal/postnatal overproduction of NO, characteristic for this clinical entity; (2) thimerosal inhibited both insulin-like growth factor-1- and dopamine-stimulated methylation reactions, and depressed methionine synthase activity, the metabolic events important for promoting normal neurodevelopment; (3) valproic acid, a strong histone deacetylase inhibitor, have potent anti-T. gondii activity. Thus, patients with ASD should be tested for T. gondii infection. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved