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Change of immunoglobulins and complement factors in patients with self-injurious behaviour


Tor Jacob Moe, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, Haukeland Hospital, University of Bergen, 5021 Bergen, Norway E-mail:


Objective:  As stress activates the inflammatory response system, and attempted suicide is connected with severe stress, we hypothesized that patients hospitalized for self-injurious behaviour have changed immunocompetence.

Method:  The concentration of immunoglobulins IgG, IgA, IgM, and the complement components C3 and C4 in 73 patients hospitalized for self-injurious behaviour was compared with those of 122 healthy controls. The immunoglobulins and complement were quantified by nephelometric technique.

Results:  The levels of IgG and IgM were significantly lower, and the complement C3 and C4 were significantly higher in self-injurious patients compared with controls. This was valid in both genders and the effects did not interact with gender.

Conclusions:  This controlled study showed that the concentrations of immunoglobulins were reduced and complement components were increased in patients who are admitted to hospital for self-injurious behaviour.

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