Identification of a biological signature for schizophrenia in serum.

Institute of Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
Molecular Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 15.15). 04/2011; 17(5):494-502. DOI: 10.1038/mp.2011.42
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Biomarkers are now used in many areas of medicine but are still lacking for psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia (SCZ). We have used a multiplex molecular profiling approach to measure serum concentrations of 181 proteins and small molecules in 250 first and recent onset SCZ, 35 major depressive disorder (MDD), 32 euthymic bipolar disorder (BPD), 45 Asperger syndrome and 280 control subjects. Preliminary analysis resulted in identification of a signature comprised of 34 analytes in a cohort of closely matched SCZ (n=71) and control (n=59) subjects. Partial least squares discriminant analysis using this signature gave a separation of 60-75% of SCZ subjects from controls across five independent cohorts. The same analysis also gave a separation of ~50% of MDD patients and 10-20% of BPD and Asperger syndrome subjects from controls. These results demonstrate for the first time that a biological signature for SCZ can be identified in blood serum. This study lays the groundwork for development of a diagnostic test that can be used as an aid for distinguishing SCZ subjects from healthy controls and from those affected by related psychiatric illnesses with overlapping symptoms.

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    ABSTRACT: The Mental Health Biomarker Project (2010-2014) selected commercial biochemistry markers related to monoamine synthesis and metabolism and measures of visual and auditory processing performance. Within a case-control discovery design with exclusion criteria designed to produce a highly characterised sample, results from 67 independently DSM IV-R-diagnosed cases of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder were compared with those from 67 control participants selected from a local hospital, clinic and community catchment area. Participants underwent protocol-based diagnostic-checking, functional-rating, biological sample-collection for thirty candidate markers and sensory-processing assessment. Fifteen biomarkers were identified on ROC analysis. Using these biomarkers, odds ratios, adjusted for a case-control design, indicated that schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder were highly associated with dichotic listening disorder, delayed visual processing, low visual span, delayed auditory speed of processing, low reverse digit span as a measure of auditory working memory and elevated levels of catecholamines. Other nutritional and biochemical biomarkers were identified as elevated hydroxyl pyrroline-2-one as a marker of oxidative stress, vitamin D, B6 and folate deficits with elevation of serum B12 and free serum copper to zinc ratio. When individual biomarkers were ranked by odds ratio and correlated with clinical severity, five functional domains of visual processing, auditory processing, oxidative stress, catecholamines and nutritional-biochemical variables were formed. When the strengths of their inter-domain relationships were predicted by Lowess (non-parametric) regression, predominant bidirectional relationships were found between visual processing and catecholamine domains. At a cellular level, the nutritional-biochemical domain exerted a pervasive influence on the auditory domain as well as on all other domains. The findings of this biomarker research point towards a much-required advance in Psychiatry: quantification of some theoretically-understandable, translationally-informative, treatment-relevant underpinnings of serious mental illness. This evidence reveals schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder in a somewhat different manner, as a conglomerate of several disorders many of which are not currently being assessed-for or treated in clinical settings. Currently available remediation techniques for these underlying conditions have potential to reduce treatment-resistance, relapse-prevention, cost burden and social stigma in these conditions. If replicated and validated in prospective trials, such findings will improve progress-monitoring and treatment-response for schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.
    12/2015; 3(1). DOI:10.1186/s40364-015-0028-1
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    ABSTRACT: Background Schizophrenia is recognized as a disorder of the brain and neuronal connectivity. The neural cell adhesion molecule 1 (NCAM1) gene plays a crucial role in regulating neuronal connectivity. Methods We conducted a two-stage association analysis on 17 NCAM1 SNPs in two independent Han Chinese schizophrenia case–control cohorts (discovery sample from Hunan Province: 986 patients and 1040 normal controls; replication sample from Yunnan Province: 564 cases and 547 healthy controls). Allele, genotype and haplotype frequencies were compared between case and control samples. Transcription factor binding site prediction and luciferase reporter assays were employed to assess the potential function of promoter SNPs. We detected developmental changes at the transcriptional level of NCAM1 during neuron differentiation in Macaca mulatta neural progenitor cells (NPC). Serum levels of NCAM1 were measured in 72 cases and 88 controls. Results A promoter variant, rs2301228, was found to be associated with schizophrenia at the allelic level and was validated in a replication cohort. Luciferase reporter assays demonstrated that risk allele rs2301228-A significantly down-regulated NCAM1 gene transcription compared to the G-allele. Concordantly, schizophrenia patients had a significantly lower level of serum NCAM1 compared to healthy donors. During the NPC neuronal differentiation, NCAM1 mRNA was significantly increased, suggesting a critical role of this gene in neural development. Conclusions Our results provide direct evidence for NCAM1 as a susceptibility gene for schizophrenia, which offers support to a neurodevelopmental model and neuronal connectivity hypothesis in the onset of schizophrenia.
    Schizophrenia Research 12/2014; 160(1-3). DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2014.09.036 · 4.43 Impact Factor
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    101 edited by Paul C Guest and Sabine Bahn, 11/2011; Academic Press., ISBN: 0123877180

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