Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is highly comorbid with substance use disorders (SUDs). We hypothesize that chronic neuroinflammation and the loss of neurotrophic factors prompts the pathogenesis of both disorders. We used ELISA to measure plasma levels of proinflammatory (tumor necrosis factor-α [TNF-α], C-reactive protein [CRP]) and anti-inflammatory factors (transforming growth factor-β1 [TGF-β1] and interleukin-10 [IL-10]), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in male patients with ASPD (n = 74), SUDs (n = 168), ASPD comorbid with SUDs (ASPD + SUDs) (n = 438), and Healthy Controls (HCs) (n = 81). A multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) controlled for possible confounders was used to compare cytokines and BDNF levels between groups. The results of MANCOVA adjusted for age showed a significant (p < 0.001) main effect of diagnosis on inflammatory factors and BDNF expression in these groups. ASPD, SUDs, and ASPD + SUDs patients had significantly (p < 0.001) higher TNF-α levels but lower TGF-β1 and BDNF levels. SUDs and ASPD + SUDs patients had higher IL-10 levels than did ASPD patients and HCs. There was no difference in IL-10 levels between HCs and ASPD. Moreover, subgrouping SUDs and ASPD ± SUDs into opioid use disorder (OUD) and other SUDs groups showed that the IL-10 levels were specifically higher in OUD and ASPD ± OUD groups than other SUDs (P ≤ 0.001). We conclude that uncontrolled inflammation and losing neurotrophic factors, with or without comorbid SUDs, underlies ASPD. IL-10 expression might be more specifically associated with OUD.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry