Increased peripheral interleukin 10 relate to white matter integrity in schizophrenia

Gui Fu, Wenjing Zhang, Jing Dai, Jieke Liu, Fei Li, Dongsheng Wu, Yuan Xiao, Chandan Shah, John A. Sweeney, Min Wu, Su Lui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Schizophrenia is characterized by the disruption of microstructural white matter (WM) integrity, while the pathogenesis remains unclear. Inflammation has been associated with the WM pathology in schizophrenia. Interleukin 10 (IL-10) has been proven to be related to schizophrenia in both animal and human models. The aim of this study was to explore whether peripheral IL-10 was associated with microstructural WM integrity in schizophrenia. Methods: A total of 47 patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and 49 healthy controls (HC) underwent diffusion tensor imaging and venous blood sampling. Tract-based spatial statistics was conducted to explore the differences in fractional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusivity (RD), mean diffusivity (MD), and axial diffusivity (AD) between patients and controls. A quantitative chemiluminescence assay was performed to measure peripheral IL-10 levels. General linear regression analysis using a stepwise method was applied to examine the relationship between peripheral IL-10 and diffusion measures. Results: Compared with the HC, peripheral IL-10 levels were higher and a significant reduction of FA and AD, and increase of RD and MD were observed in SZ (corrected p < 0.05). A regression analysis revealed that peripheral IL-10 was negatively correlated with FA in the right posterior thalamic radiation and left inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, in SZ (β = -0.51, p = 0.01; β = -0.47, p = 0.02, respectively) but not in HC (β = -0.01, p = 0.95; β = -0.003, p = 0.98, respectively), and the differences in regression curves were significant (z = 2.50, p = 0.01; z = 2.37, p = 0.02, respectively). IL-10 was negatively connected with MD in the right parietal arcuate fasciculus (β = -0.40, p = 0.048) and body of the corpus callosum (β = -0.43, p = 0.03) in SZ, while not in HC. The magnitude of correlation in the patient and control group was different (z = 2.48, p = 0.01 and z = 2.61, p < 0.01, respectively). In addition, IL-10 was positively correlated with RD in the right parietal arcuate fasciculus in patients (β = 0.45, p = 0.04) but not in HC (β = 0.26, p = 0.94), but the correlation coefficients were not significant (z = 0.98, p = 0.32). Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated that elevated peripheral IL-10 levels were associated with the disruption of microstructural WM integrity in schizophrenia, supporting the notion that inflammation plays a regulatory role in the pathology of microstructural WM and is associated with schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number52
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Issue numberFEB
StatePublished - 2019


  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Inflammation
  • Interleukin 10
  • Schizophrenia
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Increased peripheral interleukin 10 relate to white matter integrity in schizophrenia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this