Association between childhood trauma exposure and pro-inflammatory cytokines in schizophrenia and bipolar-I disorder

Quidé, Yann, Bortolasci, Chiara C., Spolding, Briana, Kidnapillai, Srisaiyini, Watkeys, Oliver J., Cohen-Woods, Sarah, Berk, Michael, Carr, Vaughan J., Walder, Ken and Green, Melissa J. 2019, Association between childhood trauma exposure and pro-inflammatory cytokines in schizophrenia and bipolar-I disorder, Psychological medicine, vol. 49, no. 16, pp. 2736-2744, doi: 10.1017/S0033291718003690.

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Title Association between childhood trauma exposure and pro-inflammatory cytokines in schizophrenia and bipolar-I disorder
Author(s) Quidé, Yann
Bortolasci, Chiara C.ORCID iD for Bortolasci, Chiara C.
Spolding, Briana
Kidnapillai, Srisaiyini
Watkeys, Oliver J.
Cohen-Woods, Sarah
Berk, MichaelORCID iD for Berk, Michael
Carr, Vaughan J.
Walder, KenORCID iD for Walder, Ken
Green, Melissa J.
Journal name Psychological medicine
Volume number 49
Issue number 16
Start page 2736
End page 2744
Total pages 9
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Place of publication Cambridge, Eng.
Publication date 2019-12
ISSN 0033-2917
Keyword(s) Bipolar disorder
c-reactive protein
childhood maltreatment
interleukin 6
tumour necrosis factor-α
Summary BACKGROUND: Elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines are consistently reported in schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar-I disorder (BD), as well as among individuals who have been exposed to childhood trauma. However, higher levels of inflammatory markers in these disorders are yet to be investigated with respect to levels of exposure to different types of childhood trauma. METHODS: Participants were 68 cases with a diagnosis of schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder (SZ), 69 cases with a diagnosis of psychotic BD and 72 healthy controls (HC). Serum levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were quantified, and childhood trauma exposure was assessed with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. RESULTS: The SZ group had significantly higher levels of IL-6, TNF-α and CRP when compared with the HC group (all p < 0.05, d = 0.41-0.63), as well as higher levels of TNF-α when compared with the BD group (p = 0.014, d = 0.50); there were no differences between the BD and HC groups for any markers. Exposure to sexual abuse was positively associated (standardised β = 0.326, t = 2.459, p = 0.018) with levels of CRP in the SZ group, but there were no significant associations between any form of trauma exposure and cytokine levels in the HC or BD groups. CONCLUSIONS: These results contribute to the evidence for a chronic state of inflammation in SZ but not BD cases. Differential associations between trauma exposure and levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines across the diagnostic categories suggest that trauma may impact biological (stress and immune) systems differently in these patient groups.
Language eng
DOI 10.1017/S0033291718003690
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1701 Psychology
1117 Public Health and Health Services
1109 Neurosciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2018, Cambridge University Press
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Document type: Journal Article
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School of Medicine
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