Schizophrenia is an irritating mental disorder that affects around 1% of the world's population. The immune system contributes to the onset of the disease, particularly through production and secretion of some cytokines. In patients with schizophrenia, the balance of Th1 to Th2 ratio is often altered. In the present study, we investigated these changes by measuring the gene expression levels of IFN-γ and T-bet as Th1 indicators, as well as IL-4 and GATA-3 as representatives for Th2. Blood samples of schizophrenic patients (n=25) and healthy individuals (n=10) were obtained. Total RNA was extracted from leukocytes and cDNA synthesis was performed based on provided protocols. Real-time PCR technique was utilized for the assessment of gene expression levels. Results indicated a significant increase in the expression of IFN-γ and its transcription factor, T-bet, while IL-4 gene expression was reduced significantly. The expression level of GATA-3 gene revealed no meaningful changes. Altogether, results confirmed the relative shift of Th1 to Th2 status in the patient with schizophrenia and re-emphasize the importance of the inflammatory events in the incidence of the disease. Moreover, a new index was introduced based on the IFN-γ and T-bet genes expression, which can determine healthy condition with total accuracy of 79%.
Molecular marker, Schizophrenia, Th1, Th2, IFN-γ, T-bet
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