Abnormalities of Wnt signalling in schizophrenia--evidence for neurodevelopmental abnormality.
ABSTRACT The Wnt signalling pathway is central to normal brain development in vertebrates and invertebrates and mediates cell fate determination, cell adhesion and cell proliferation. However, its relevance to disorders of cerebral development in man is untested. We evaluated the potential involvement of the Wnt signalling pathway in schizophrenia, a disorder of neurodevelopment origin in which alterations in neuronal lamination and orientation have been described. Using immunohistochemistry and semi-quantitative rating scales, we examined the distribution of two components of the Wnt signalling pathway, beta-catenin and gamma-catenin in the hippocampus and subiculum of 12 schizophrenic (DSMIIR criteria) and 14 control subjects. Both catenins were distributed as intraneuronal diffuse and/or ring shaped forms. The diffuse staining of both forms catenin were reduced in the CA3 and beta-catenin was also reduced in the CA4 hippocampal subregion among schizophrenic subjects. These alternations may represent the basis of the developmental brain abnormalities found in schizophrenia and would have functionally important consequences in the adult.
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ABSTRACT: A significant feature of the cortical neuropathology of schizophrenia is a disturbance in the biogenesis of short non-coding microRNA (miRNA) that regulate translation and stability of mRNA. While the biological origin of this phenomenon has not been defined, it is plausible that it relates to major environmental risk factors associated with the disorder such as exposure to maternal immune activation (MIA) and adolescent cannabis use. To explore this hypothesis, we administered the viral mimic poly I:C to pregnant rats and further exposed some of their maturing offsprings to daily injections of the synthetic cannabinoid HU210 for 14 days starting on postnatal day 35. Whole-genome miRNA expression analysis was then performed on the left and right hemispheres of the entorhinal cortex (EC), a region strongly associated with schizophrenia. Animals exposed to either treatment alone or in combination exhibited significant differences in the expression of miRNA in the left hemisphere, whereas the right hemisphere was less responsive. Hemisphere-associated differences in miRNA expression were greatest in the combined treatment and highly over-represented in a single imprinted locus on chromosome 6q32. This observation was significant as the syntenic 14q32 locus in humans encodes a large proportion of miRNAs differentially expressed in peripheral blood lymphocytes from patients with schizophrenia, suggesting that interaction of early and late environmental insults may affect miRNA expression, in a manner that is relevant to schizophrenia.Translational psychiatry. 09/2014; 4:e452.
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ABSTRACT: Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is a natural lipid-derived molecule that is involved in important physiological functions. Abnormal PGE2 signalling has been associated with pathologies of the nervous system. Previous studies provide evidence for the interaction of PGE2 and canonical Wnt signalling pathways in non-neuronal cells. Since the Wnt pathway is crucial in the development and organization of the brain, the main goal of this study is to determine whether collaboration between these pathways exists in neuronal cell types. We report that PGE2 interacts with canonical Wnt signalling through PKA and PI-3K in neuroectodermal (NE-4C) stem cells. We used time-lapse microscopy to determine that PGE2 increases the final distance from origin, path length travelled, and the average speed of migration in Wnt-activated cells. Furthermore, PGE2 alters distinct cellular phenotypes that are characteristic of Wnt-induced NE-4C cells, which corresponds to the modified splitting behaviour of the cells. We also found that in Wnt-induced cells the level of beta-catenin protein was increased and the expression levels of Wnt-target genes (Ctnnb1, Ptgs2, Ccnd1, Mmp9) was significantly upregulated in response to PGE2 treatment. This confirms that PGE2 activated the canonical Wnt signalling pathway. Furthermore, the upregulated genes have been previously associated with ASD. Our findings show, for the first time, evidence for cross-talk between PGE2 and Wnt signalling in neuronal cells, where PKA and PI-3K might act as mediators between the two pathways. Given the importance of PGE2 and Wnt signalling in prenatal development of the nervous system, our study provides insight into how interaction between these two pathways may influence neurodevelopment.Cell Communication and Signaling 03/2014; 12(1):19. · 4.67 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In an effort to better understand and treat mental disorders, the Wnt pathway and adult hippocampal neurogenesis have received increased attention in recent years. One is a signaling pathway regulating key aspects of embryonic patterning, cell specification, and adult tissue homeostasis. The other is the generation of newborn neurons in adulthood that integrate into the neural circuit and function in learning and memory, and mood behavior. In this review, we discuss the growing relationship between Wnt signaling-mediated regulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis as it applies to neuropsychiatric disorders. Evidence suggests dysfunctional Wnt signaling may aberrantly regulate new neuron development and cognitive function. Indeed, altered expression of key Wnt pathway components are observed in the hippocampus of patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders. Clinically-utilized mood stabilizers also proceed through modulation of Wnt signaling in the hippocampus, while Wnt pathway antagonists can regulate the antidepressant response. Here, we review the role of Wnt signaling in disease etiology and pathogenesis, regulation of adult neurogenesis and behavior, and the therapeutic targeting of disease symptoms.Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 09/2014; · 10.28 Impact Factor