Blood biomarker discovery in drug-free schizophrenia: the contributionof proteomics and multiplex immunoassays.

INTRODUCTION: Recent evidence supports an association between systemic abnormalities and the pathology of psychotic disorders which has led to the search for peripheral blood-based biomarkers. Areas covered: Here, we summarize blood biomarker findings in schizophrenia from the literature identified by two methods currently driving biomarker discovery in the human proteome; mass spectrometry and multiplex immunoassay. From a total of 14 studies in the serum or plasma of drug-free schizophrenia patients; 47 proteins were found to be significantly altered twice or more, in the same direction. Pathway analysis was performed on these proteins, and the resulting pathways discussed in relation to schizophrenia pathology. Future directions are also discussed, with particular emphasis on the potential for high-throughput validation techniques such as data-independent analysis for confirmation of biomarker candidates. Expert commentary: We present promising findings that point to a convergence of pathophysiological mechanisms in schizophrenia that involve the acute-phase response, glucocorticoid receptor signalling, coagulation, and lipid and glucose metabolism.