Background: Several lines of evidence, including postmortem studies, suggest increased oxidative stress and inflammation in patients with schizophrenia. Alteration of oxidative stress markers has been reported in schizoprenia studies, but with inconsistent results. Oxidized low-density lipoproteins (oxLDL) have been reported to be capable of eliciting neurocytotoxicity. On the other hand, paraoxonase (PON1), an arylesterase(ARE), plays a role in protection against oxidative modifications of LDL and is considered to be one of the antioxidant enzymes. There are no studies showing the changes in oxidative stress and inflammation together, nor the activities of PON1 and ARE in schizophrenic patients. In this study, we examined PON1, ARE activities and oxidative/anti-oxidative markers in patients with chronic schizophrenia and healthy controls. Methods: We recruited 30 male chronic schizophrenic patients and 30 male healthy control subjects and examined C-reactive protein(CRP), fibrinogen, PON1, ARE and plasma total antioxidant status (TAS) and total oxidant status (TOS), oxidative stress index(OSI) in both groups. Schizophrenia symptoms were assessed using the positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS). The related routine lipid profile parameters including HDL were also examined. Results: Patients had significantly higher CRP, fibrinogen, TOS and OSI levels; but the patients and control subjects did not differ on activities of the antioxidant enzymes PON1 and ARE. Interestingly, there were not any group differences in the lipid profile parameters except the triglyceride levels, that increased significantly in the patient group. Conclusions: In the present study, reporting the ARE activities besides the PON1 activities in schizophrenic patients for the first time, we showed that PON1 and ARE enzyme activities were not statistically different in patients with chronic schizophrenia. This study provides additional evidence of increased oxidative stress and inflammation in chronic schizophrenia, but no alterations in the antioxidant status were observed. Our results suggest that other mechanisms than the high density lipoprotein(HDL)-disfunctionality, namely decreases in PON1 or ARE enzyme activities, are more important in oxidative or antioxidative pathophysiological processes in schizophrenia.
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