Objectives: We have previously reported reduced serum levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) in schizophrenic patients. A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of the ICAM-1 gene was described at position 241. The G→A SNP results in a nonsynonymous amino acid exchange of the ICAM-1 protein, and the A allele was shown to be also associated with several immunological disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. Methods: We investigated 70 schizophrenic patients and 128 unrelated healthy control persons regarding the relationship between the serum levels of sICAM-1 and the ICAM-1 G214A polymorphism. Results: We were able to replicate our previous finding of reduced sICAM-1 levels in schizophrenia. Healthy control persons carrying the polymorphic A allele showed markedly lower sICAM-1 serum levels than carriers of the homozygous GG wild type (p < 0.004). In contrast, no significant difference in the sICAM-1 serum levels were seen regarding the G241A genotype distribution in schizophrenic patients. Conclusion: We hypothesize that the biochemical effect of the G241A SNP is masked in schizophrenic patients, indicating a disease-related mechanism leading to reduced levels of sICAM-1 in schizophrenia.
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