Pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1 beta and IL-6 stimulate the expression of the schizophrenia-related C4A gene. Patients with high C4A expression displayed increased levels of IL-1 beta in cerebral spinal fluid samples. C4A levels were also correlated with markers of synaptic density. Findings reveal inflammation enhances the genetic risk variant for schizophrenia.
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A gene associated with schizophrenia may trigger runaway synaptic pruning during adolescence, a new study reports.