, Volume 231, Issue 2, pp 319–325 | Cite as

Changes in pro-inflammatory cytokines and body weight during 6-month risperidone treatment in drug naïve, first-episode schizophrenia

  • Xueqin SongEmail author
  • Xiaoduo Fan
  • Xue Li
  • Wei Zhang
  • Jinsong Gao
  • Jingping Zhao
  • Amy Harrington
  • Douglas Ziedonis
  • Luxian LvEmail author
Original Investigation



The present study aimed to examine the changes in pro-inflammatory cytokines and body weight during 6-month risperidone treatment in drug naïve, first-episode schizophrenia.


Sixty-two drug naïve, first-episode schizophrenia (SZ group) and 60 healthy individuals (control group) were enrolled in the study. Serum interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) levels, and body weight were measured at baseline for both groups, and repeated for the SZ group at five different time points during 6-month risperidone treatment.


At baseline, serum IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α levels in the SZ group (53.28 ± 12.62, 33.98 ± 14.13, 50.08 ± 12.86 pg/mL, respectively) were significantly higher than those in the control group (23.49 ± 15.27, 15.53 ± 7.16, 32.12 ± 15.23 pg/mL, respectively) (p's < 0.001). Within the SZ group, serum IL-1β levels decreased significantly at 2 weeks (48.02 ± 16.00 pg/mL, p < 0.01) and 1 month (44.70 ± 16.63 pg/mL, p < 0.001), but then gradually increased at 2 months (48.49 ± 18.87 pg/mL), 3 months (50.59 ± 18.48 pg/mL) and 6 months (53.64 ± 16.22 pg/mL) to the levels comparable to baseline; serum IL-6 levels changed significantly over the course of treatment (p = 0.001), but reached the levels comparable to baseline at 6 months (37.13 ± 13.23 pg/mL); serum levels of TNF-α increased significantly at 3 months (55.02 ± 16.69 pg/mL, p < 0.01) and 6 months (58.69 ± 13.57 pg/mL, p < 0.001); steady and significant weight gain was observed at each follow-up time point (p's < 0.001), from 56.71 ± 9.25 kg at baseline to 62.72 ± 9.53 kg at 6 months.


Risperidone treatment is associated with changes in serum pro-inflammatory cytokines levels and weight. There is an initial anti-inflammatory effect that reduces with treatment, potentially due to its weight gain side effect.


Schizophrenia Interleukin-1β Interleukin-6 Tumor necrosis factor-α Inflammation 



Funding for this study was provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.30971058 to X-QS; No.81071090to L-XL), the Natural Science Foundation of Henan (No.102300413208, 112300413226 to L-XL), and the Youth Fund of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University (to X-QS).

Financial disclosures

Dr. Fan has received research support or honoraria from Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myer-Squibb, Janssen, and Pfizer. Other authors report no competing interests.


Dr. Song and Dr. Fan were responsible for the analysis and interpretation of the data for this paper. All authors contributed to the writing of the paper.

Conflict of interest

None of the authors has any actual or potential conflict of interest including any financial, personal, or other relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence, or be perceived to influence, their work as submitted in the uploaded material.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xueqin Song
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Xiaoduo Fan
    • 3
  • Xue Li
    • 1
  • Wei Zhang
    • 1
  • Jinsong Gao
    • 1
  • Jingping Zhao
    • 4
  • Amy Harrington
    • 3
  • Douglas Ziedonis
    • 3
  • Luxian Lv
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.The First Affiliated Hospital/Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina
  2. 2.Henan Province Biological Psychiatry Key LaboratoryXinxiang Medical UniversityXinxiangChina
  3. 3.Psychotic Disorders ProgramUMass Memorial Medical Center/University of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA
  4. 4.The Mental Health Institute of the Second Xiangya HospitalCentral South UniversityChangshaChina
  5. 5.Henan Province Mental HospitalThe Second Affiliated Hospital/Xinxiang Medical UniversityXinxiangChina

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