Failure to support a genetic contribution of AKT1 polymorphisms and altered AKT signaling in schizophrenia.
ABSTRACT The protein kinase v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog (AKT) gene family comprises three human homologs that phosphorylate and inactivate glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK3beta). Studies have reported the genetic association of AKT1 with schizophrenia. Additionally, decreased AKT1 protein expression and the reduced phosphorylation of GSK3beta were reported in this disease, leading to a new theory of attenuated AKT1-GSK3beta signaling in schizophrenia pathogenesis. We have evaluated this theory by performing both genetic and protein expression analyses. A family based association test of AKT1 did not show association with schizophrenia in Japanese subjects. The expression levels of total AKT, AKT1 and phosphorylated GSK3beta detected in the schizophrenic brains from two different brain banks also failed to support the theory. In addition, no attenuated AKT-GSK3beta signaling was observed in the lymphocytes from Japanese schizophrenics, contrasting with previous findings. Importantly, we found that the level of phosphorylated GSK3beta at Ser9 tended to be inversely correlated with postmortem intervals, and that the phosphorylation levels of AKT were inversely correlated with brain pH, issues not assessed in the previous study. These data introduce a note of caution when estimating the phosphorylation levels of GSK3beta and AKT in postmortem brains. Collectively, this study failed to support reduced signaling of the AKT-GSK3beta molecular cascade in schizophrenia.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Kazuo Yamada, Jul 01, 2015
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ABSTRACT: Genetic studies have associated deficient function of the serine/threonine kinase Akt1 with schizophrenia. This disorder is associated with developmental, structural, and functional abnormalities of the hippocampus that could be traced to abnormal Akt1 function. To establish a closer connection between Akt1 and hippocampal function, mice with a selective deletion of Akt1 (Akt1(-/-) mice) were examined for physiological and behavioral outcomes dependent on the hippocampus and associated with schizophrenia. Genetic deletion of Akt1 was associated with both impaired proliferative capacity of adult-born hippocampal progenitors and hippocampal long-term potentiation, indicating deficient functions of this brain region associated with neuroplasticity. Moreover, Akt1(-/-) mice demonstrated impairments in contextual fear conditioning and recall of spatial learning, behaviors known to selectively involve the hippocampus. Akt1(-/-) mice also showed reduced prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response, a sensorimotor gating response that is perturbed in schizophrenia. Postmortem tissue samples from patients with schizophrenia showed significant reductions of phosphorylated Akt levels in hilar neurons of the dentate gyrus, the neurogenic zone of the hippocampus. Taken together, these results implicate the Akt1 isoform in regulating hippocampal neuroplasticity and cognition and in contributing to the etiology of schizophrenia.Hippocampus 02/2012; 22(2):230-40. DOI:10.1002/hipo.20887 · 4.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Animals with the neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion (NVHL) demonstrate altered responsiveness to stress and various drugs reminiscent of that in schizophrenia. Post-pubertal onset of abnormalities suggests the possibility of sex differences in NVHL effects that may model sex differences in schizophrenia. Here we demonstrate that novelty- and MK-801-induced hyperactivity is evident in both male and female NVHL rats, whereas only NVHL males were hyperactive in response to apomorphine. Next, we examined the sex- and NVHL-dependent differences in the activity of the ERK and Akt pathways. The basal activity of both pathways was higher in females than in males. NVHL reduces the level of phosphorylation of ERK1/2, Akt, and GSK-3 in both sexes, although males show more consistent down-regulation. Females had higher levels of G-protein-coupled kinases [G-protein-coupled receptor kinase (GRK)] 3 and 5, whereas the concentrations of other GRKs and arrestins were the same. In the nucleus accumbens, the concentration of GRK5 in females was elevated by NVHL to the male level. The data demonstrate profound sex differences in the expression and activity of signalling molecules that may underlie differential susceptibility to schizophrenia.The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 02/2010; 14(1):1-15. DOI:10.1017/S1461145710000118 · 5.26 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The AKT1 gene has been associated with the genetic aetiology of schizophrenia. Following the overlap model of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, we aimed to investigate AKT1 genetic variants and protein expression in both diseases. A total of 679 subjects with European ancestry were included: 384 with schizophrenia, 130 with bipolar disorder and 165 controls. Six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were investigated for association with the diseases using single- and multi-locus analyses. AKT1 and AKT2 protein levels were measured in post-mortem brain tissues from ante-mortem diagnosed schizophrenia (n = 30) and bipolar disorder subjects (n = 12) and matched controls. The analysis identified a significant global distortion in schizophrenia (P = 0.0026) and a weak association in bipolar disorder (P = 0.046). A sliding window procedure showed a five-SNP haplotype (TCGAG) to be associated with schizophrenia (P = 1.22 x 10(-4)) and bipolar disorder (P = 0.0041) and a four-SNP haplotype (TCGA) with the combined sample (1.73 x 10(-5)). On the basis of selected genotypes, a significant difference in protein expression emerged between subjects (P < 0.02). In conclusion, our findings, by showing the involvement of the AKT1 gene in both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, support the role of AKT1 in the genetics of both disorders and add support to the view that there is some genetic overlap between them.Genes Brain and Behavior 02/2010; 9(5):503-11. DOI:10.1111/j.1601-183X.2010.00578.x · 3.51 Impact Factor