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Distinct Plasma Cytokine Levels during Early Abstinence in Amphetamine-Dependent Women with and Without Psychosis

Author(s): Shin-Chang Kuo, Yi-Wei Yeh, Chun-Yen Chen, Chang-Chih Huang, Mei-Chen Shih, Che-Hung Yen, Pei- Shen Ho, Chih-Sung Liang,Chang-Chih Tsou, Bao-Zhu Yang, Ru-Band Lu, San-Yuan Huang


Amphetamine exposure is associated with significant effects on innate and adaptive immunity. The present study aimed to assess and compare the plasma levels of cytokines between amphetamine-dependent women, either with or without psychosis, and healthy controls.


We assessed the immune-cytokine markers in 79 female amphetamine addicts during early abstinence and in 49 healthy women to obtain reference values. Women with (AD-P, n=25) or without (AD-NP, n=54) psychosis were also identified. Multiplex magnetic bead assay was used to measure the plasma cytokine expression level simultaneously in all participants.


We demonstrated an increase of T helper 1(Th1)- and Th2- related cytokines levels in both the entire AD cohort and AD-NP subgroup. A similar increase trend was also noted in the AD-P group; however, only three cytokines − interleukin (IL)-5, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α showed significant differences. Moreover, the cytokine profiles in the AD-P subgroup revealed decreased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IFN-γ) and a shift toward Th2 responses when compared with the AD-NP subgroup.


Our results suggest that patients with AD showed immune system activation when compared to the control group, revealing an imbalance in the pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, and the existence of an immunological phenotype that may be associated with drug-related psychosis during early abstinence in AD. Future research should replicate and extend these results.

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