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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, e-psyche, PsycINFO, Scopus
Online ISSN 1827-1731
Bocchio-Chiavetto L., Gennarelli M.
Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric illness with a world-wide incidence of 1%. Twin, family and adoption studies consistently showed that genetic factors play a major role in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Multiple susceptibility genes, each of small effect, acting in concert with epigenetic processes and environmental factors, probably underlie the disease. The involvement of immune response system in the etiopathogenesis of schizophrenia has been a matter of research, with recently increasing effort. Cytokines play a critical role in the regulation of the inflammatory response. This paper is a review of the literature on genetic association studies between cytokine genes and schizophrenia. Moreover, pharmacogenetic studies involving these genes in side effects onset and resistance to treatment are discussed. A comprehensive discussion is provided to elucidate the results obtained and their limitations. Finally, perspectives for future research are outlined to underlie the potential role of immunogenetics that might provide key insights into disease pathogenesis and identify multiple molecular targets for intervention strategies.