Decreased T cellular immune response in schizophrenic patients

Michael Riedel, Ilja Spellmann, Markus J. Schwarz, Martin Strassnig, Christopher Sikorski, Hans Jürgen Möller, Norbert Müller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The involvement of an alteration of the immune system in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia is discussed since many years. In particular, in vitro studies give evidence that the T helper-1 (Th1) mediated cellular immune response is deficient in schizophrenia. We therefore hypothesized that the type-IV delayed skin hypersensitivity reaction, which is effected by the Th1 immune response, is attenuated in schizophrenia patients. A prospective case-control study was performed to assess skin reactivity of 30 patients vs. 30 age and sex matched healthy controls. A standardized device with seven different antigens (Multitest Immignost) was applied intracutaneously; after 48 h, the skin reactions were quantified. In general, the mean skin reaction of the schizophrenic patients were significantly smaller as compared to the healthy control group. Moreover, significantly more schizophrenic patients showed a diminished skin reaction to distinct antigens. Our findings demonstrate a markedly attenuated in vivo type-1 mediated cellular immune response in schizophrenic patients, further confirming the hypothesis of a relative Th2 shift in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-7
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2007


  • Cellular immune response
  • Delayed type reaction
  • Schizophrenia
  • Skin test
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychology(all)


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