Article

Prenatal nutritional deficiency and risk of adult schizophrenia.

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA.
Schizophrenia Bulletin (Impact Factor: 8.61). 09/2008; 34(6):1054-63. DOI: 10.1093/schbul/sbn096
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Converging evidence suggests that a neurodevelopmental disruption plays a role in the vulnerability to schizophrenia. The authors review evidence supporting in utero exposure to nutritional deficiency as a determinant of schizophrenia. We first describe studies demonstrating that early gestational exposure to the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944--1945 and to a severe famine in China are each associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia in offspring. The plausibility of several candidate micronutrients as potential risk factors for schizophrenia and the biological mechanisms that may underlie these associations are then reviewed. These nutrients include folate, essential fatty acids, retinoids, vitamin D, and iron. Following this discussion, we describe the methodology and results of an epidemiologic study based on a large birth cohort that has tested the association between prenatal homocysteine, an indicator of serum folate, and schizophrenia risk. The study capitalized on the use of archived prenatal serum specimens that make it possible to obtain direct, prospective biomarkers of prenatal insults, including levels of various nutrients during pregnancy. Finally, we discuss several strategies for subjecting the prenatal nutritional hypothesis of schizophrenia to further testing. These approaches include direct assessment of additional prenatal nutritional biomarkers in relation to schizophrenia in large birth cohorts, studies of epigenetic effects of prenatal starvation, association studies of genes relevant to folate and other micronutrient deficiencies, and animal models. Given the relatively high prevalence of nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy, this work has the potential to offer substantial benefits for the prevention of schizophrenia in the population.

0 Followers
 · 
108 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Maternal infection is a risk factor for schizophrenia but the molecular and cellular mechanisms are not fully known. Myelin abnormalities are amongst the most robust neuropathological changes observed in schizophrenia, and preliminary evidence suggests that prenatal inflammation may play a role. Methods: Label-free liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry was performed on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of adult rat offspring born to dams that were exposed on gestational day 15 to the viral mimic polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid [poly(I:C), 4 mg/kg] or saline and treated with the atypical antipsychotic drug risperidone (0.045 mg/kg) or saline in adolescence. Western blotting was employed to validate protein changes. Results: Over 1,000 proteins were quantified in the PFC with pathway analyses implicating changes in core metabolic pathways, following prenatal poly(I:C) exposure. Some of these protein changes were absent in the PFC of poly(I:C)-treated offspring that subsequently received risperidone treatment in adolescence. Particularly interesting reductions in the expression of the myelin-related proteins myelin basic protein isoform 3 (MBP1) and rhombex 29 were observed, which were reversed by risperidone treatment. Validation by Western blotting confirmed changes in MBP1 and mitogen-activated kinase 1 (MAPK1). Western blotting was extended to assess the MAPK signalling proteins due to their roles in inflammation, namely phosphorylated MAPK1 and phosphorylated MAPK-activated protein kinase 2. Both were upregulated by poly(I:C) treatment and reversed by risperidone treatment. Conclusions: Overall, our data suggest that maternal inflammation may contribute to an increased risk for schizophrenia through mechanisms involving metabolic function and myelin formation and that risperidone in adolescence may prevent or reverse such changes. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Developmental Neuroscience 01/2015; DOI:10.1159/000368305 · 2.45 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Diabetes is a major cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and its prevalence is rapidly increasing worldwide. Despite clear advances in developing effective glucose-lowering drugs, clinical trials have recently shown that intensive glycemic control failed to reduce cardiovascular events in the diabetic population. These findings support the concept that the hyperglycemic environment may be remembered in the cardiovascular system. This phenomenon has been recently defined as “metabolic memory” and may contribute to explain the progression of diabetic vascular complications despite achievement of target HbA1c levels. In this regard, epigenetic changes of DNA/histone complexes are emerging as important modulators of oxidant and inflammatory genes, thus leading to persistent cardiac and vascular dysfunction. Over the last few years, the rapid development of many compounds (i.e. histone deacetylase and histone acetyltransferase inhibitors) able to erase adverse chromatin signatures led to the perception that reverting hyperglycemic damage might be possible and represents an attractive challenge. Here we critically discuss recent evidence supporting the concept that chromatin alterations are key drivers of cardiovascular disease and describe the emerging potential of chromatin modifying agents for the reprogramming of detrimental epigenetic signatures in patients with cardiometabolic disturbances.
    Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology 01/2015; 16(6). · 2.51 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Environmental factors have been associated with psychiatric disorders and recent epidemiological studies suggest an association between prenatal lead (Pb(2+)) exposure and schizophrenia (SZ). Pb(2+) is a potent antagonist of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) and converging evidence indicates that NMDAR hypofunction has a key role in the pathophysiology of SZ. The glutamatergic hypothesis of SZ posits that NMDAR hypofunction results in the loss of parvalbumin (PV)-positive GABAergic interneurons (PVGI) in the brain. Loss of PVGI inhibitory control to pyramidal cells alters the excitatory drive to midbrain dopamine neurons increasing subcortical dopaminergic activity. We hypothesized that if Pb(2+) exposure in early life is an environmental risk factor for SZ, it should recapitulate the loss of PVGI and reproduce subcortical dopaminergic hyperactivity. We report that on postnatal day 50 (PN50), adolescence rats chronically exposed to Pb(2+) from gestation through adolescence exhibit loss of PVGI in SZ-relevant brain regions. PV and glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 kDa (GAD67) protein were significantly decreased in Pb(2+) exposed rats with no apparent change in calretinin or calbindin protein levels suggesting a selective effect on the PV phenotype of GABAergic interneurons. We also show that Pb(2+) animals exhibit a heightened locomotor response to cocaine and express significantly higher levels of dopamine metabolites and D2-dopamine receptors relative to controls indicative of subcortical dopaminergic hyperactivity. Our results show that developmental Pb(2+) exposure reproduces specific neuropathology and functional dopamine system changes present in SZ. We propose that exposure to environmental toxins that produce NMDAR hypofunction during critical periods of brain development may contribute significantly to the etiology of mental disorders.
    Translational Psychiatry 03/2015; 5(3):e522. DOI:10.1038/tp.2014.147 · 4.36 Impact Factor

Preview

Download
1 Download
Available from