Inflammatory biomarkers in psychosis and clinical high risk populations

Shannon Delaney, Brian Fallon, Armin Alaedini, Robert Yolken, Alyssa Indart, Tianshu Feng, Yuanjia Wang, Daniel Javitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Immunological, nutritional, and microbial factors have been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, but the interrelationship among measures is understudied. In particular, an increase in the levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) is associated with all phases of the illness, and may be associated with other inflammatory markers. Vitamin D is a modulator of the immune system, and LPS antibodies are an indirect measure of gut barrier function. In this study we investigated potential contributing inflammatory mechanisms for IL-6 elevation. Methods: We compared the levels of vitamin D, C-reactive protein (CRP), antibodies to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and IL-6 in children, adolescents and young adults with psychosis (n = 47), individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis (n = 17) and unaffected comparison controls (n = 33). Participants were diagnosed by a psychiatrist, using a structured interview, the MINI-Neuropsychiatric Interview. 25(OH)D was measured in serum using chemiluminescent micro particle immunoassay, and anti-LPS antibodies, CRP and IL-6 levels were measured by ELISA. Results: IL-6 and C-reactive protein levels were significantly elevated in the psychosis group relative to the unaffected control subjects. In the psychosis group, levels of IL-6 correlated positively with IgA anti-LPS antibodies and negatively correlated with vitamin D. Conclusions: Our findings show a significant correlation between IL-6, anti-LPS antibodies and vitamin D deficiency in psychosis, suggesting the existence of multiple potential pathways related to IL-6 elevation in psychosis, and therefore multiple potential strategies for risk mitigation. Collectively these findings support hypotheses regarding interrelated inflammatory contributions to the pathophysiology of psychosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)440-443
Number of pages4
JournalSchizophrenia Research
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Clinical high risk
  • IL-6
  • Inflammation
  • Psychosis
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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