Background: Psychosis is a condition influenced by an interaction of environmental and genetic factors. Gene expression studies can capture these interactions; however, studies are usually performed in patients who are in remission. This study uses blood of first episode psychosis patients, in order to characterise deregulated pathways associated with psychosis symptom dimensions. Methods: Peripheral blood from 149 healthy controls and 131 first episode psychosis patients was profiled using Illumina HT-12 microarrays. A case/control differential expression analysis was performed, followed by correlation of gene expression with positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS) scores. Enrichment analyses were performed on the associated gene lists. We test for pathway differences between first episode psychosis patients who qualify for a Schizophrenia diagnosis against those who do not. Results: A total of 978 genes were differentially expressed and enriched for pathways associated to immune function and the mitochondria. Using PANSS scores we found that positive symptom severity was correlated with immune function, while negative symptoms correlated with mitochondrial pathways. Conclusions: Our results identified gene expression changes correlated with symptom severity and showed that key pathways are modulated by positive and negative symptom dimensions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-97
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Anti-psychotic medication
  • First episode psychosis
  • Gene expression
  • Immune system
  • Transcriptome


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