Disc1 Point Mutations in Mice Affect Development of the Cerebral Cortex
ABSTRACT Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) is a strong candidate gene for schizophrenia and other mental disorders. DISC1 regulates neurodevelopmental processes including neurogenesis, neuronal migration, neurite outgrowth, and neurotransmitter signaling. Abnormal neuronal morphology and cortical architecture are seen in human postmortem brain from patients with schizophrenia. However, the etiology and development of these histological abnormalities remain unclear. We analyzed the histology of two Disc1 mutant mice with point mutations (Q31L and L100P) and found a relative reduction in neuron number, decreased neurogenesis, and altered neuron distribution compared to wild-type littermates. Frontal cortical neurons have shorter dendrites and decreased surface area and spine density. Overall, the histology of Disc1 mutant mouse cortex is reminiscent of the findings in schizophrenia. These results provide further evidence that Disc1 participates in cortical development, including neurogenesis and neuron migration.
SourceAvailable from: PubMed Central[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Patients with schizophrenia are at an increased risk for the development of depression. Overlap in the symptoms and genetic risk factors between the two disorders suggests a common etiological mechanism may underlie the presentation of comorbid depression in schizophrenia. Understanding these shared mechanisms will be important in informing the development of new treatments. Rodent models are powerful tools for understanding gene function as it relates to behavior. Examining rodent models relevant to both schizophrenia and depression reveals a number of common mechanisms. Current models which demonstrate endophenotypes of both schizophrenia and depression are reviewed here, including models of CUB and SUSHI multiple domains 1, PDZ and LIM domain 5, glutamate Delta 1 receptor, diabetic db/db mice, neuropeptide Y, disrupted in schizophrenia 1, and its interacting partners, reelin, maternal immune activation, and social isolation. Neurotransmission, brain connectivity, the immune system, the environment, and metabolism emerge as potential common mechanisms linking these models and potentially explaining comorbid depression in schizophrenia.Frontiers in Psychiatry 02/2015; 6:13. DOI:10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00013
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder that displays behavioral deficits such as decreased sensory gating, reduced social interaction and working memory deficits. The neurodevelopmental model is one of the widely accepted hypotheses of the etiology of schizophrenia. Subtle developmental abnormalities of the brain which stated long before the onset of clinical symptoms are thought to lead to the emergence of illness. Schizophrenia has strong genetic components but its underlying molecular pathogenesis is still poorly understood. Genetic linkage and association studies have identified several genes involved in neuronal migrations as candidate susceptibility genes for schizophrenia, although their effect size is small. Recent progress in copy number variation studies also has identified much higher risk loci such as 22q11. Based on these genetic findings, we are now able to utilize genetically-defined animal models. Here we summarize the results of neurodevelopmental and behavioral analysis of genetically-defined animal models. Furthermore, animal model experiments have demonstrated that embryonic and perinatal neurodevelopmental insults in neurogenesis and neuronal migrations cause neuronal functional and behavioral deficits in affected adult animals, which are similar to those of schizophrenic patients. However, these findings do not establish causative relationship. Genetically-defined animal models are a critical approach to explore the relationship between neuronal migration abnormalities and behavioral abnormalities relevant to schizophrenia.Frontiers in Neuroscience 03/2015; 9:74. DOI:10.3389/fnins.2015.00074
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: It is well established that persistent viral infection may impair cellular function of specialized cells without overt damage. This concept, when applied to neurotropic viruses, may help to understand certain neurologic and neuropsychiatric diseases. Borna disease virus (BDV) is an excellent example of a persistent virus that targets the brain, impairs neural functions without cell lysis, and ultimately results in neurobehavioral disturbances. Recently, we have shown that BDV infects human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) and impairs neurogenesis, revealing a new mechanism by which BDV may interfere with brain function. Here, we sought to identify the viral proteins and molecular pathways that are involved. Using lentiviral vectors for expression of the bdv-p and bdv-x viral genes, we demonstrate that the phosphoprotein P, but not the X protein, diminishes human neurogenesis and, more particularly, GABAergic neurogenesis. We further reveal a decrease in pro-neuronal factors known to be involved in neuronal differentiation (ApoE, Noggin, TH and Scg10/Stathmin2), demonstrating that cellular dysfunction is associated with impairment of specific components of the molecular program that controls neurogenesis. Our findings thus provide the first evidence that a viral protein impairs GABAergic human neurogenesis, a process that is dysregulated in several neuropsychiatric disorders. They improve our understanding of the mechanisms by which a persistent virus may interfere with brain development and function in the adult.PLoS Pathogens 04/2015; 11(4):e1004859. DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004859 · 8.06 Impact Factor