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Identification of inflammatory subgroups of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients with HERV-W ENV antigenemia by unsupervised cluster analysis


Tamouza, Ryad; Meyer, Urs; Foiselle, Marianne; Richard, Jean-Romain; Wu, Ching-Lien; Boukouaci, Wahid; Le Corvoisier, Philippe; Barrau, Caroline; Lucas, Alexandre; Perron, Hervé; Leboyer, Marion (2021). Identification of inflammatory subgroups of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients with HERV-W ENV antigenemia by unsupervised cluster analysis. Translational Psychiatry, 11(1):377.

Abstract

Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) are remnants of infections that took place several million years ago and represent around 8% of the human genome. Despite evidence implicating increased expression of HERV type W envelope (HERV-W ENV) in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, it remains unknown whether such expression is associated with distinct clinical or biological characteristics and symptoms. Accordingly, we performed unsupervised two-step clustering of a multivariate data set that included HERV-W ENV protein antigenemia, serum cytokine levels, childhood trauma scores, and clinical data of cohorts of patients with schizophrenia (n = 29), bipolar disorder (n = 43) and healthy controls (n = 32). We found that subsets of patients with schizophrenia (~41%) and bipolar disorder (~28%) show positive antigenemia for HERV-W ENV protein, whereas the large majority (96%) of controls was found to be negative for ENV protein. Unsupervised cluster analysis identified the presence of two main clusters of patients, which were best predicted by the presence or absence of HERV-W ENV protein. HERV-W expression was associated with increased serum levels of inflammatory cytokines and higher childhood maltreatment scores. Furthermore, patients with schizophrenia who were positive for HERV-W ENV protein showed more manic symptoms and higher daily chlorpromazine (CPZ) equivalents, whereas HERV-W ENV positive patients with bipolar disorder were found to have an earlier disease onset than those who were negative for HERV-W ENV protein. Taken together, our study suggest that HERV-W ENV protein antigenemia and cytokines can be used to stratify patients with major mood and psychotic disorders into subgroups with differing inflammatory and clinical profiles.

Abstract

Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) are remnants of infections that took place several million years ago and represent around 8% of the human genome. Despite evidence implicating increased expression of HERV type W envelope (HERV-W ENV) in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, it remains unknown whether such expression is associated with distinct clinical or biological characteristics and symptoms. Accordingly, we performed unsupervised two-step clustering of a multivariate data set that included HERV-W ENV protein antigenemia, serum cytokine levels, childhood trauma scores, and clinical data of cohorts of patients with schizophrenia (n = 29), bipolar disorder (n = 43) and healthy controls (n = 32). We found that subsets of patients with schizophrenia (~41%) and bipolar disorder (~28%) show positive antigenemia for HERV-W ENV protein, whereas the large majority (96%) of controls was found to be negative for ENV protein. Unsupervised cluster analysis identified the presence of two main clusters of patients, which were best predicted by the presence or absence of HERV-W ENV protein. HERV-W expression was associated with increased serum levels of inflammatory cytokines and higher childhood maltreatment scores. Furthermore, patients with schizophrenia who were positive for HERV-W ENV protein showed more manic symptoms and higher daily chlorpromazine (CPZ) equivalents, whereas HERV-W ENV positive patients with bipolar disorder were found to have an earlier disease onset than those who were negative for HERV-W ENV protein. Taken together, our study suggest that HERV-W ENV protein antigenemia and cytokines can be used to stratify patients with major mood and psychotic disorders into subgroups with differing inflammatory and clinical profiles.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinärwissenschaftliches Institut > Institute of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Life Sciences > Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Language:English
Date:6 July 2021
Deposited On:26 Jan 2022 16:59
Last Modified:26 Jun 2024 01:50
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2158-3188
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01499-0
PubMed ID:34230451
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)