Transl Psychiatry 7 (7) e1177 [2017-07-25; online 2017-07-25]
Immunological and inflammatory reactions have been suggested to have a role in the development of schizophrenia, a hypothesis that has recently been supported by genetic data. The aim of our study was to perform an unbiased search for autoantibodies in patients with a first psychotic episode, and to explore the association between any seroreactivity and the development of a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV) disorder characterized by chronic or relapsing psychotic symptoms. We collected plasma samples from 53 patients when they were treated for their first-episode psychosis, and 41 non-psychotic controls, after which the patients were followed for a mean duration of 7 years. Thirty patients were diagnosed with schizophrenia, delusional disorder, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder or a long-term unspecified nonorganic psychosis during follow-up, whereas 23 patients achieved complete remission. At the end of follow-up, plasma samples were analyzed for IgG reactivity to 2304 fragments of human proteins using a multiplexed affinity proteomic technique. Eight patient samples showed autoreactivity to the N-terminal fragment of the PAGE (P antigen) protein family (PAGE2B/PAGE2/PAGE5), whereas no such autoreactivity was seen among the controls. PAGE autoreactivity was associated with a significantly increased risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia during follow-up (odds ratio 6.7, relative risk 4.6). An immunohistochemistry analysis using antisera raised against the N-terminal fragment stained an unknown extracellular target in human cortical brain tissue. Our findings suggest that autoreactivity to the N-terminal portion of the PAGE protein family is associated with schizophrenia in a subset of patients with first-episode psychosis.