Schizophr Res. 2012 Aug;139(1-3):201-6. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2012.06.016. Epub 2012 Jun 27.
Negative correlation between cerebrospinal fluid oxytocin levels and negative symptoms of male patients with schizophrenia.
BACKGROUND: Accumulating evidence indicates that oxytocin plays an important role in social interactions. Previous studies also suggest altered oxytocin function in patients with schizophrenia and depression. However, few studies have examined the central oxytocin levels in these disorders.
METHODS: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) oxytocin levels were measured by ELISA in male participants consisting of 27 patients with schizophrenia, 17 with major depressive disorder (MDD), and 21 healthy controls.
RESULTS: CSF oxytocin levels of patients with schizophrenia or MDD did not differ significantly with healthy controls. The antidepressant dose or the Hamilton depression rating scale score did not significantly correlate with the oxytocin levels in MDD patients. CSF oxytocin levels in schizophrenic patients significantly negatively correlated with second generation antipsychotic dose (r=-0.49, P=0.010) but not with first generation antipsychotic dose (r=-0.13, P=0.50). A significant correlation was observed between oxytocin levels and negative subscale of PANSS (r=-0.38, P=0.050). This correlation remained significant even after controlling for second generation antipsychotic dose (r=-0.47, P=0.016).
CONCLUSIONS: We obtained no evidence of altered CSF oxytocin levels in patients with schizophrenia or those with MDD. However, lower oxytocin levels may be related to higher second generation antipsychotic dose and more severe negative symptoms in schizophrenia.