The Intersection Between Genetics and Infection in Maternal, Paternal and Offspring with Schizophrenia in an Ashkenazi Jewish Population Open Access

Inyangson, Joshua (Spring 2020)

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Much of literature in the study of schizophrenia (SCZ) focuses on the interaction between its genetic and environmental components, but few studies have examined the intersection of genetics and infections in maternal, paternal, and the offspring with schizophrenia. In a sample of 539 subjects, we sought to examine the interaction of maternal cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and a particular single nucleotide polymorphism carried by the proband on the risk for schizophrenia.  We reasoned that maternal infection would be more likely to be a risk factor for schizophrenia in the offspring than paternal infection.  We used regression analysis, chi-square, Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney analysis to assess the associations between infections (and other immune markers, both individually and collectively) and parental status.  Age was found to be negative correlated with parental status, as mothers were more likely to be younger than fathers.  Non-significant associations were found between infections (cytomegalovirus and toxoplasma) with parental status. Significant (p<0.05) associations were found between immune marker levels and parental status, as herpes virus type 6 (HHV6) levels were 19% higher in mothers than fathers, C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were 17% higher in mothers than fathers, and gliadin (GLIAD) levels were 14% higher in fathers than mothers.  We were able to identify immune markers that differentiated mothers and fathers in SCZ triad samples.  This data provides new insights into the immune dynamics of SCZ at the interface of genetics and infections relevant to neurodevelopment and gestational insults.        

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements .... 7

Introduction ............... 8

Methods ..................... 10

Results ....................... 12

Discussion ................. 17

Bibliography .............. 19

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