Title : The impact of physical exercise on the modulation of epigenetic and inflammatory markers in schizophrenic individuals
Approximately 1% of the world’s population is affected by schizophrenia (SZ). Among possible factors, an imbalance on epigenetic machinery and inflammatory markers have been recognized in it´s physiopathogenesis and course. The patients with SZ usually adopts a sedentary lifestyle, which has been partially associated with the increase in obesity incidence rates, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, exercise has been considered an important additional therapeutic option for this population, promoting benefits to physical and mental health. Few studies have been pointed out that the positive effects of exercise in different populations engage the modulation of epigenetic and inflammatory markers. However, studies investigating this interaction in SZ patients are lack. Furthermore, the studies regarding the exercise impact on SZ generally use aerobic and/or resistance programs, while less attention have been devoted to concurrent protocols. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the effect of a concurrent exercise protocol (CEP) on anthropometric parameters, global histone H4 acetylation levels and inflammatory markers (IL-4, IL-6 and IFN-γ) in peripheral blood of SZ patients at different time-points. This study was approved by the Centro Universitário Metodista-IPA Research Ethics Committee (no 1.243.680/2015). The participants (n=15) were submitted to the CEP during 90 days, 3 times a week/60 minutes-session. Blood samples were collected pre, 30, 60 and 90 days after the intervention began. The CEP significantly reduced body mass index and body mass. The CEP induced a remarkable histone H4 hypoacetylation status in all times evaluated when compared to the baseline period. A reduction in IL-6 levels during the 60 and 90 days compared to the baseline period was observed. Finally, diminished IFN-γ levels were found in the 90 days period compared to the baseline and 30 days after periods. These data suggest that the improvement in anthropometric measures following CEP is associated to the histone H4 hypoacetylation status and the reduction on anti-inflammatory cytokines.
This is the first evidence demonstrating the exercise effects on epigenetic modulation in SZ individuals. We believe that these preliminary findings will encourage future investigations with a larger sample, which could include a control group which could enable verify other issues such as the influence of gender and age on epigenetic machinery in response of exercise in patients with SZ.