Article

Molecular mechanisms contributing to dendritic spine alterations in the prefrontal cortex of subjects with schizophrenia

Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
Molecular Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 15.15). 07/2006; 11(6):557-66. DOI: 10.1038/sj.mp.4001792
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Postmortem studies have revealed reduced densities of dendritic spines in the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of subjects with schizophrenia. However, the molecular mechanisms that might contribute to these alterations are unknown. Recent studies of the intracellular signals that regulate spine dynamics have identified members of the RhoGTPase family (e.g., Cdc42, Rac1, RhoA) as critical regulators of spine structure. In addition, Duo and drebrin are spine-specific proteins that are critical for spine maintenance and spine formation, respectively. In order to determine whether the mRNA expression levels of Cdc42, Rac1, RhoA, Duo or drebrin are altered in schizophrenia, tissue sections containing DLPFC area 9 from 15 matched pairs of subjects with schizophrenia and control subjects were processed for in situ hybridization. Expression levels of these mRNAs were also correlated with DLPFC spine density in a subset of the same subjects. In order to assess the potential influence of antipsychotic medications on the expression of these mRNAs, similar studies were conducted in monkeys chronically exposed to haloperidol or olanzapine. The expression of each of these mRNAs was lower in the gray matter of the subjects with schizophrenia compared to the control subjects, although only the reductions in Cdc42 and Duo remained significant after corrections for multiple comparisons. In addition, spine density was strongly correlated with the expression levels of both Duo (r=0.73, P=0.007) and Cdc42 (r=0.71, P=0.009) mRNAs. In contrast, the expression levels of Cdc42 and Duo mRNAs were not altered in monkeys chronically exposed to antipsychotic medications. In conclusion, reduced expression of Cdc42 and Duo mRNAs may represent molecular mechanisms that contribute to the decreased density of dendritic spines in the DLPFC of subjects with schizophrenia.

0 Followers
 · 
121 Views
  • Source
    [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
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Schizophrenia (SCZ) are cognitive disorders with complex genetic architectures but overlapping behavioral phenotypes, which suggests common pathway perturbations. Multiple lines of evidence implicate imbalances in excitatory and inhibitory activity (E/I imbalance) as a shared pathophysiological mechanism. Thus, understanding the molecular underpinnings of E/I imbalance may provide essential insight into the etiology of these disorders and may uncover novel targets for future drug discovery. Here, we review key genetic, physiological, neuropathological, functional, and pathway studies that suggest alterations to excitatory/inhibitory circuits are keys to ASD and SCZ pathogenesis.
    Current Molecular Medicine 03/2015; · 3.61 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia (SZ) is a devastating mental disorder afflicting 1% of the population. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of SZ have identified >100 risk loci. However, the causal variants/genes and the causal mechanisms remain largely unknown, which hinders the translation of GWAS findings into disease biology and drug targets. Most risk variants are noncoding, thus likely regulate gene expression. A major mechanism of transcriptional regulation is chromatin remodeling, and open chromatin is a versatile predictor of regulatory sequences. MicroRNA-mediated post-transcriptional regulation plays an important role in SZ pathogenesis. Neurons differentiated from patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provide an experimental model to characterize the genetic perturbation of regulatory variants that are often specific to cell type and/or developmental stage. The emerging genome-editing technology enables the creation of isogenic iPSCs and neurons to efficiently characterize the effects of SZ-associated regulatory variants on SZ-relevant molecular and cellular phenotypes involving dopaminergic, glutamatergic, and GABAergic neurotransmissions. SZ GWAS findings equipped with the emerging functional genomics approaches provide an unprecedented opportunity for understanding new disease biology and identifying novel drug targets.
    Neuroscience Bulletin 01/2015; 31(1). DOI:10.1007/s12264-014-1488-2 · 1.83 Impact Factor

Preview

Download
2 Downloads
Available from