Dynamism of Sex Steroids in Modulating the Phenotypic Expression of Schizophrenia

Oso TA(1), Owolabi J(2), Lawal T(3), Adeyemi JD(4), Akinloye O(5),


(1) Centre for Genomics of Non-communicable Diseases and Personalized Healthcare, Dr. D. K. Olukoya Central Research Laboratories, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria. Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria.
(2) Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria.
(3) Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria
(4) Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria.
(5) Centre for Genomics of Non-communicable Diseases and Personalized Healthcare, Dr. D. K. Olukoya Central Research Laboratories, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria. Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria
Corresponding Author

Abstract


Background: Schizophrenia is a disorder that negatively impacts mental and social functioning in affected patients. It is associated with positive and negative symptoms. Recent studies have implicated sex hormone in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.

Objective: This study aims to explore modulatory role of sex-steroids in the observable phenotypic symptoms of schizophrenia.

Method: A total of 220 consented drug nae volunteers including 120 Schizophrenia patients and 100 apparently healthy controls were recruited for this study. Socio-demographic and anthropometric data were obtained using structured questionnaire. Schizophrenia symptoms were evaluated using Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Assessment of sex steroid receptors and steroids including estrogen, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S), aromatase, prolactin, and cortisol in serum of participants were performed using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA).

Results: Males had significantly higher negative symptom score compared to females (p<0.05). Socio-demographic factors such as marital, educational, economics and family history where significantly different in cases and controls (p<0.05). Serum levels of cortisol (97.076.08 ng/mL) and prolactin (14.37 1.97 ng/mL) were increased in cases compared with controls (72.839.19 and 8.230.88 ng/mL, respectively; p<0.05). In addition, serum estrogen, aromatase, and androgen receptor protein decreased in cases compared to controls (p<0.05). Androgen receptor protein correlated with positive symptoms, while aromatase correlated negatively with negative symptoms and DHEA-S shows a positive correlation with negative symptoms.

Conclusion: Changes in homeostasis and differential dynamism of sex steroids influence phenotypic expression of schizophrenia. This is particularly pronounced in different gender. Modulating these hormonal changes may dictate a new strategy for the management of schizophrenia.


Keywords


Steroids, Schizophrenia, Mental Disorders, Androgen Receptor, Estrogen Receptor

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