Cortical volume is inversely correlated with Interleukin-6 serum levels in patients with schizophrenia

Sandra Lermen Polita, Raffael Massuda, Bruna Schilling Panizzutti, Clarissa Severino Gama, Juliana Avila Duarte


Introduction: It is well established that cortical volume are decreased in patients
with schizophrenia. One possible explanation is that the increased pro-inflammatory
status in schizophrenia is related to volumetric decrease of gray matter. The aim of
this study was to correlate interleukin 6 (IL-6) with cortical volume in patients with
schizophrenia and controls.
Methods: We selected 36 patients with schizophrenia and 35 controls. Interleukin 6
(IL-6) was correlated with cortical volume in patients with schizophrenia and controls.
Results: IL-6 was negatively correlated with cortical volume (p = 0.027; rho = −0.370)
in patients, but not in controls (p = 0.235).
Discussion: Our results are in line with previous studies suggesting that chronic
inflammatory activation in patients with schizophrenia could be one plausible mechanism
that could contribute for the cortical volumetric decrease often seen in this population.
However, this cross-sectional study with a small number of patients does not allow
us to establish causal relations.


Schizophrenia; Inflammation; MRI

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