The metabolic syndrome (MetS) affects individuals with schizophrenia at a higher rate when compared to individuals in the general population. Accumulating evidence indicated that subjects with MetS generally manifest elevated levels of acyl-carnitines, which are important carriers for transporting fatty acyl group. Abnormalities of acyl-carnitines in individuals with schizophrenia with or without MetS had not been sufficiently characterized. We conducted this post-hoc analysis with our published data to further evaluate the differences of 29 acyl-carnitines in 46 individuals with schizophrenia with MetS and 123 without MetS. The rate of MetS was 27.2% (46/169) in the individuals with schizophrenia. After FDR correction, the individuals with schizophrenia and MetS showed significantly higher levels of 17 plasma acyl-carnitines, compared to individuals without MetS. Eight acyl-carnitines (i.e., C3, C4, C5, C6: 1, C10: 1, C10: 2, C14: 2-OH, C16: 2-OH) were significantly different between two groups after adjusting for age and sex. The correlation analysis reported that acyl-carnitine concentrations have potential correlations with certain metabolic parameters. Our findings provide valuable new clues for exploring the roles of acyl-carnitines in the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia. More data and molecular biology evidences are needed to replicate our findings and elucidate relevant mechanisms.
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