Psychosis is a multifactorial condition arising from an interaction between genetic liability and exposure to environmental risk factors, in particular childhood trauma. Furthermore, accumulating evidence supports a role for the immune system in the aetiology of psychosis. Increased peripheral levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and reduced neurotrophic factors are found in patients with psychosis. Childhood trauma is highly prevalent in psychosis patients and is also associated with increased pro-inflammatory cytokines and reduced neurotrophic factors. Recent studies suggest the increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines and decrease in neurotrophic factors seen in psychosis may be attributable to the effects of child maltreatment. The aim of this study was to improve understanding of the relation between childhood trauma, inflammation and psychosis. We examined separate and interaction effects of psychosis liability and childhood trauma on serum levels of BDNF, CCL-2, CRP, IFN-γ, IGFBP2, IL-6, PDGF, SCF and TNF-α in 40 patients with recent onset psychosis, 13 patients at Ultra-High Risk (UHR) for psychosis, 31 unaffected siblings of psychosis patients and 41 healthy controls. Childhood trauma was assessed retrospectively with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). No statistically significant effects of psychosis liability or childhood trauma on concentrations of cytokines or growth factors in peripheral blood were found, nor were there any statistically significant interaction effects of psychosis liability with childhood trauma on serum levels of cytokines and growth factors.

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Journal PLoS ONE
Counotte, J. (Jacqueline), Bergink, V, Pot-Kolder, R. (Roos), Drexhage, H.A, Hoek, H.W. (Hans W.), & Veling, W.A. (2019). Inflammatory cytokines and growth factors were not associated with psychosis liability or childhood trauma. PLoS ONE, 14(7). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0219139