Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6-9

Methodological issues in cytokine measurement in schizophrenia


Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA

Correspondence Address:
Maju Mathew Koola
Clinical Research Program, Sheppard Pratt Health System, 6501 N Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21204
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.175086

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There is mounting evidence that inflammation is a major factor in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Inflammatory status is commonly ascertained by measuring peripheral cytokine concentrations. An issue concerning research on inflammation and schizophrenia relates to assay methodology. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is the most widely used and the gold standard method used to measure cytokine concentrations. ELISA has a number of limitations. Both ELISA and multiplex are limited by not being able to distinguish between bioactive and inactive molecules and the matrix and heterophilic (auto-) antibody interference. Multiplex assays when combined with gene expression analysis and flow cytometry techniques such as fluorescence-activated cell sorting may be useful to detect abnormalities in specific immune pathways. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells cultures, to evaluate in vitro lipopolysaccharide-induced cytokine production, may be a better technology than measuring cytokines in the serum. The purpose of this paper is to shed light on major methodological issues that need to be addressed in order to advance the study of cytokines in schizophrenia. We make a few recommendations on how to address these issues.


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