Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018 Mar 4;497(2):683-688. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2018.02.131. Epub 2018 Feb 16.
Increased cerebrospinal fluid complement C5 levels in major depressive disorder and schizophrenia.
Inflammation has been implicated in a variety of psychiatric disorders. We aimed to determine whether levels of complement C5 protein in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which may reflect activation of the complement system in the brain, are altered in patients with major psychiatric disorders. Additionally, we examined possible associations of CSF C5 levels with clinical variables. Subjects comprised 89 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), 66 patients with bipolar disorder (BPD), 96 patients with schizophrenia, and 117 healthy controls, matched for age, sex, and ethnicity (Japanese). Diagnosis was made according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, criteria. CSF C5 levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. CSF C5 levels were significantly increased in the patients with MDD (p < 0.001) and in the patients with schizophrenia (p = 0.001), compared with the healthy controls. The rate of individuals with an "abnormally high C5 level" (i.e., above the 95th percentile value of the control subjects) was significantly increased in all psychiatric groups, relative to the control group (all p < 0.01). Older age, male sex, and greater body mass index tended to associate with higher C5 levels. There was a significantly positive correlation between C5 levels and chlorpromazine-equivalent dose in the patients with schizophrenia. Thus, we found, for the first time, elevated C5 levels in the CSF of patients with major psychiatric disorders. Our results suggest that the activated complement system may contribute to neurological pathogenesis in a portion of patients with major psychiatric disorders.