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Schizophrenia is a disabling serious mental illness with unknown etiology. Inflammatory abnormalities play an important role in the pathogenesis of the disease. Many studies had viewed changes in serum IL-6 in schizophrenia, but its results were not consistent. This meta-analysis was to systematically assess the changes in serum IL-6 in schizophrenia. We searched PubMed, Web of Science, ScienceDirect, and EBSCO databases until July 14, 2020, for eligible studies that matched to search subjects, and used Review Manager to counting all the research results. The meta-analysis included 14 studies comprising 961 schizophrenia and 729 controls. Serum IL-6 was higher in schizophrenia compared with controls (SMD: 0.44 [95%CI: 0.34-0.55] for drug naïve or drug eluted schizophrenia; SMD: 1.55 [95%CI: 0.78-2.31] for schizophrenia after treatment). Serum IL-6 of schizophrenia after treatment was lower than baseline (SMD: 0.33 [95%CI: 0.02-0.63]). Serum IL-6 level increase in schizophrenia. It supports the immune regulatory system-compensatory immune regulatory system hypothesis, and the role of inflammatory abnormalities in schizophrenia. And the decrease of serum IL-6 in schizophrenia after treatment suggests that an anti-inflammatory mechanism might be effective during antipsychotic treatment. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Xin Zhou, Bo Tian, Hai-Bin Han. Serum interleukin-6 in schizophrenia: A system review and meta-analysis. Cytokine. 2021 May;141:155441

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PMID: 33529887

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