Racial Differences in S100b Levels in Persons with Schizophrenia

Jessica M. Gannon, Deanna L. Kelly, Abigail Besch, Tanu Thakur, Neil Khurana, Michael R. Shurin, Galina V. Shurin, Jaspreet S. Brar, Daniela Cihakova, Monica V. Talor, K. N.Roy Chengappa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The calcium-binding protein S100b is secreted by glial cells in the brain and is also expressed by melanocytes. In nanomolar concentrations, S100b is considered to be a neurotrophic factor, but in micromolar concentrations, it is thought to reflect CNS injury and inflammation. Seen as a potential biomarker in traumatic brain injury, meta-analytic data from several studies report that S100b levels are significantly higher in persons with long standing schizophrenia, but also among first-episode patients compared to healthy control subjects. However, ethnic or racial differences are typically not mentioned when reporting levels of S100b. We assessed serum S100b levels in persons with schizophrenia (n = 136) who were participants in two independent research studies using the same enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA). African-American subjects had significantly higher levels of S100b (41.9 pg/ml ± 62.2) than Caucasian subjects (24.9 pg/ml ± 45.4) in the combined dataset (Mann-Whitney U = 1307, p < 0.001), as well as in each independent study. There were no significant differences in S100b levels between men and women. No significant correlations were observed between S100b levels and demographic or clinical variables. These data suggest that ethnicity or race should be given serious consideration when studying and interpreting S100b levels in persons with schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatric Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • African-American
  • Caucasian
  • Inflammation
  • Race
  • S100b
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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