Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2017 May;15(2):146-152. 10.9758/cpn.2017.15.2.146.

Longer Telomere Length of T lymphocytes in Patients with Early and Chronic Psychosis

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea.
  • 2Research Institute of Clinical Medicine of Chonbuk National University-Biomedical Research Institute of Chonbuk National University Hospital, Jeonju, Korea.


OBJECTIVE: To investigate pathological conditions that act as sources of pro-inflammatory cytokines and cytotoxic substances to examine telomere length (TL) in patients with either early (duration of illness [DI] ≤5 years) or chronic (DI >5 years) psychosis using T lymphocytes.
Based on these factors and the important role that T lymphocytes play in inflammation, the present study measured the TL of T lymphocytes in patients with either early or chronic psychosis. Additionally, smoking, metabolic syndrome, depression, and cognitive functioning were assessed to control for confounding effects.
TL was significantly longer in patients with early and chronic psychosis than in healthy control subjects and, moreover, the significance of these findings remained after controlling for age, smoking, metabolic syndrome, DI, chlorpromazine-equivalent dose, and cognitive functioning (F=9.57, degree of freedom=2, p<0.001). Additionally, the DI, chlorpromazine-equivalent doses, and the five-factor scores of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale were not significantly correlated with the TL of T lymphocytes in either all patients or each psychosis group.
Possible mechanisms underlying the effects of antipsychotic medications on telomerase are discussed in the present study, but further studies measuring both telomerase activity and TL using a prospective design will be required.


Antipsychotic agents; Telomere length; Telomerase; T lymphocytes; Psychosis; Quantitative Real-time PCR
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