Influence of NOS1 on verbal intelligence and working memory in both patients with schizophrenia and healthy control subjects.
ABSTRACT Human and animal studies have implicated the gene NOS1 in both cognition and schizophrenia susceptibility.
To investigate whether a potential schizophrenia risk single-nucleotide polymorphism (rs6490121) identified in a recent genome-wide association study negatively influences cognition in patients with schizophrenia and healthy control subjects.
A comparison of both cases and controls grouped according to NOS1 genotype (GG vs AG vs AA) on selected measures of cognition in 2 independent samples. We tested for association between NOS1 rs6490121 and cognitive functions known to be impaired in schizophrenia (IQ, episodic memory, working memory, and attentional control) in an Irish sample. We then sought to replicate the significant results in a German sample.
Unrelated patients from general adult psychiatric inpatient and outpatient services and unrelated healthy volunteers from the general population were ascertained.
Patients with DSM-IV-diagnosed schizophrenia and healthy control subjects from independent samples of Irish (cases, n = 349; controls, n = 230) and German (cases, n = 232; controls, n = 1344) nationality.
A main effect of NOS1 genotype on verbal IQ and working memory was observed in the Irish sample where the homozygous carriers of the schizophrenia risk G allele performed poorly compared with the other genotype groups. These findings were replicated in the German sample, again with the GG genotype carriers performing below other genotype groups. Post hoc analysis of additional IQ measures (full-scale and performance IQ) in the German sample revealed that NOS1 GG carriers underperformed on these measures also.
NOS1 is associated with clinically significant variation in cognition. Whether this is a mechanism by which schizophrenia risk is increased (eg, via an influence on cognitive reserve) is yet to be confirmed.
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ABSTRACT: NO is a pleiotropic signaling molecule and has an important role in cognition and emotion. In the brain, NO is produced by neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS-I, encoded by NOS1) coupled to the NMDA receptor via PDZ interactions; this protein-protein interaction is disrupted upon binding of NOS1 adapter protein (encoded by NOS1AP) to NOS-I. As both NOS1 and NOS1AP were associated with schizophrenia, we here investigated these genes in greater detail by genotyping new samples and conducting a meta-analysis of our own and published data. In doing so, we confirmed association of both genes with schizophrenia and found evidence for their interaction in increasing risk towards disease. Our strongest finding was the NOS1 promoter SNP rs41279104, yielding an odds ratio of 1.29 in the meta-analysis. As findings from heterologous cell systems have suggested that the risk allele decreases gene expression, we studied the effect of the variant on NOS1 expression in human post-mortem brain samples and found that the risk allele significantly decreases expression of NOS1 in the prefrontal cortex. Bioinformatic analyses suggest that this might be due the replacement of six transcription factor binding sites by two new binding sites as a consequence of proxy SNPs. Taken together, our data argue that genetic variance in NOS1 resulting in lower prefrontal brain expression of this gene contributes to schizophrenia liability, and that NOS1 interacts with NOS1AP in doing so. The NOS1-NOS1AP PDZ interface may thus well constitute a novel target for small molecules in at least some forms of schizophrenia.European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 09/2013; · 3.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There is compelling evidence for the role of copy number variants (CNVs) in schizophrenia susceptibility, and it has been estimated that up to 2-3% of schizophrenia cases may carry rare CNVs. Despite evidence that these events are associated with an increased risk across categorical neurodevelopmental disorders, there is limited understanding of the impact of CNVs on the core features of disorders like schizophrenia. Our objective was to evaluate associations between rare CNVs in differentially brain expressed (BE) genes and the core features and clinical correlates of schizophrenia. The sample included 386 cases of Irish ancestry with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, at least one rare CNV impacting any gene, and a core set of phenotypic measures. Statistically significant associations between deletions in differentially BE genes were found for family history of mental illness (decreased prevalence of all CNVs and deletions, unadjusted and adjusted) and for paternal age (increase in deletions only, unadjusted, among those with later ages at birth of patient). The strong effect of a lack of a family history on BE genes suggests that CNVs may comprise one pathway to schizophrenia, whereas a positive family history could index other genetic mechanisms that increase schizophrenia vulnerability. To our knowledge, this is the first investigation of the association between genome-wide CNVs and risk factors and sub-phenotypic features of schizophrenia beyond cognitive function.Schizophrenia Research 07/2014; · 4.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background: The dopamine (DA) hypothesis of schizophrenia proposes the mental illness is caused by excessive transmission of dopamine in selected brain regions. Multiple lines of evidence, including blockage of dopamine receptors by antipsychotic drugs that are used to treat schizophrenia, support the hypothesis. However, the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) blockade cannot explain some important aspects of the therapeutic effect of antipsychotic drugs. In this study, we hypothesized that antipsychotic drugs could affect the transcription of genes in the DA pathway by altering their epigenetic profile. Methods: To test this hypothesis, we examined the effect of olanzapine, a commonly used atypical antipsychotic drug, on the DNA methylation status of genes from DA neurotransmission in the brain and liver of rats. Genomic DNA isolated from hippocampus, cerebellum, and liver of olanzapine treated (n = 2) and control (n = 2) rats were analyzed using rat specific methylation arrays. Results: Our results show that olanzapine causes methylation changes in genes encoding for DA receptors (dopamine D1 receptor, dopamine D2 receptor and dopamine D5 receptor), a DA transporter (solute carrier family 18 member 2), a DA synthesis (differential display clone 8), and a DA metabolism (catechol-O-methyltransferase). We assessed a total of 40 genes in the DA pathway and found 19 to be differentially methylated between olanzapine treated and control rats. Most (17/19) genes showed an increase in methylation, in their promoter regions with in silico analysis strongly indicating a functional potential to suppress transcription in the brain. Conclusion: Our results suggest that chronic olanzapine may reduce DA activity by altering gene methylation. It may also explain the delayed therapeutic effect of antipsychotics, which occurs despite rapid dopamine blockade. Furthermore, given the common nature of epigenetic variation, this lends insight into the differential therapeutic response of psychotic patients who display adequate blockage of dopamine receptors.Journal of Molecular Psychiatry. 11/2013; 1(19).