Yongfeng Yang

Xinxiang University, Sinsiang-hsien, Henan Sheng, China

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Publications (11)31.39 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: MicroRNA137 (miRNA137) regulates several gene expressions involved in brain development, and a recent large genome wide association study (GWAS) revealed a possible association between miRNA137 and schizophrenia. Methods: The allelic variants of rs66642155, a variable number tandem repeat polymorphism, and the single nucleotide polymorphism rs1625579 A/C in the miRNA137 host gene fragment were compared between 300 schizophrenic patients and 300 healthy controls from the Han Chinese population. The association of these polymorphisms with clinical characteristics of schizophrenia was also tested. Results: Genotype and allele frequencies of these polymorphisms were not significantly different between patient and control populations. In patients, however, age at onset was much later in wild type rs66642155 carriers than in mutation carriers. Total positive score on the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS), total five-factor model positive score, and the delusions symptom score were all significantly higher in wild type rs66642155 carriers with schizophrenia, while the disturbance of volition symptom score was significantly higher in the mutation carriers with schizophrenia. Conclusions:MiRNA137 may not be a significant susceptibility gene for schizophrenia, but in patients, rs66642155 allelic variant of miRNA137 appears to influence age at onset and the severity of positive symptoms.
    The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine 01/2014; 47(2):153-168. · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CACNA1C (12p13.3) has been implicated as a susceptibility gene for schizophrenia by several replicated genome wide association studies. While these results have been consistent among studies in European populations, the findings in East Asian populations have varied. To test whether CACNA1C is a risk gene for schizophrenia, we conducted a case-control study in 5897 schizophrenic patients and 6323 healthy control subjects selected from Han Chinese population. Our study replicated the positive associations of rs1006737 (P=0.0108, OR=1.16, 95% CI: 1.03-1.29) and rs1024582 (P=0.0062, OR=1.18, 95% CI: 1.05-1.33), and identified a novel risk locus, rs2007044 (P=0.0053, OR=1.08, 95% CI: 1.02-1.14). A meta-analysis of rs1006737 combining our study and previous studies was conducted in a total of 8222 schizophrenia cases and 24,661 healthy controls. In the meta-analysis, the association between rs1006737 and schizophrenia remained significant (OR=1.14, 95% CI: 1.07-1.22, P=0.0001). Stratified analysis showed no heterogeneity between East Asian and European ancestries (χ(2)[1]=0.07, P=0.795), and the difference in pooled ORs between ancestries was not significant (Z=0.25, P=0.801). Our results provide further support for associations of rs1006737 and rs1024582 with schizophrenia, identify a new risk locus rs2007044 in a Han Chinese population, and further establish CACNA1C as an important susceptibility gene for the disease across world populations.
    Schizophrenia Research 12/2013; · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia (SZ) is a complex psychiatric disorder with a strong genetic component. The serotonin transporter (SERT), encoded by solute carrier family 6 member 4 (SLC6A4), regulates synaptic concentrations of serotonin and thereby strongly influences perception, mood, emotion, behavior, and cognition, all of which are severely disturbed in SZ. Two variable numbers of tandem repeat (VNTR) polymorphisms and several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spread throughout SLC6A4 are involved in both neuropsychiatric diseases (including SZ) and personality traits. In this study, case-control association analysis was performed in the Chinese-Han population to identify additional allelic variants of the SLC6A4 gene that may confer susceptibility to SZ. Ten relatively common SNPs (minor allele frequency>5%) were genotyped in 528 paranoid SZ patients and 528 control subjects. Significant associations were found between SZ and the allele and genotypic frequencies of rs140700G/A (P=2.45×10(-12), 2.34×10(-11), respectively). The frequency of the A allele was lower in SZ patients (17.7%) than in controls (30.9%; OR=1.93, 95%CI=1.58-2.36). In five factors analysis of the positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS) scores of first episode SZ patients, mean negative factor score (F2,249 =3.986, p=0.02) and depression/anxiety factor score (F2, 249 =8.766, p=2.11×10(-4)) were significantly different among the rs140700G/A genotypes, with both scores higher for genotype AA than AG+GG. The rs140700G/A allele of SLC6A4 is strongly associated with SZ susceptibility and symptom expression in the Chinese-Han population.
    Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 04/2013; · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Estrogen is believed to play an important role in the central nervous system (CNS) and exert a protective role against schizophrenia. Estrogen receptor alpha (ESRalpha) mediates the biological action of estrogen. Rs2234693 and rs9340799, single nucleotide polymorphisms of ESRalpha, may be related to many psychiatric disorders, while their association with schizophrenia has not been clarified. METHODS: Genotypes rs2234693 and rs9340799 were detected in 303 schizophrenic patients and 292 healthy controls in a Chinese population. The positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS) was used to estimate symptoms and therapeutic effects. The association of these polymorphisms with schizophrenia and clinical characteristics was analyzed by the chi-square test, analysis of variance, and others. RESULTS: The distribution of genotypes and allele frequencies of rs2234693 and rs9340799 exhibited no significant differences between patients and controls, while haplotypes consisting of these polymorphisms had significant differences. For 2234693, T-allele carriers had an earlier age at onset. CC-homozygote carriers had a higher general psychopathology score and its percentage reduction in male and paranoid patients, respectively. CC-homozygote carriers had a higher tension (G4) and poor impulse control (G14) score, mainly in paranoid patients. Furthermore, patients with the CC homozygote had higher reductions of G4 and G14 scores when treated by aripirazole and risperidone, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Haplotypes consisting of these two polymorphisms in ESRalpha may be strongly associated with schizophrenia. The rs2234693 was related to age at onset, general psychopathology, G4 and G14 symptoms, even the therapeutic effect in different groups.
    Behavioral and Brain Functions 03/2013; 9(1):12. · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent researches have implicated that mutations in the neurexin-3 (NRXN3) gene on chromosome 14q24.3-q31.1 might play a role in addiction, autism, and obesity. In order to explore the association of NRXN3 polymorphisms with schizophrenia, we examined seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in NRXN3 spanning 1.33Mb of this gene, in a Chinese Han sample of 1,214 schizophrenic patients and 1,517 healthy control subjects. Our results showed that three SNPs were associated with schizophrenia (rs7157669: A>C, p=0.006; rs724373: C>T, p=0.014; rs7154021: C>T, p=0.018). After corrected for multiple tests, the association of rs7157669 remained significant but those for two others were modest. According to the linkage disequilibrium pattern, the 7 SNPs may construct 3 haplotype blocks. Several haplotypes were significantly associated with schizophrenia, constructed by rs11624704-rs7157669- rs724373 (AAC, p=0.003; ACT, p=0.007, both remained significant after permutation tests), rs7154021-rs7142344 (TT, p=0.024; CT, p=0.012), respectively. Among the patients, 326 ones at first onset have received 6-week monotherapy of risperidone. Further analyses showed that two SNPs were associated with percentage of bodyweight gain following a 6-week therapy of risperidone (rs11624704: p=0.03; rs7154021: p=0.008) and rs7154021 remained significant after permutation test. Our findings suggested that NRXN3 might represent a major susceptibility gene for schizophrenia and have a role in bodyweight gain related to therapy of risperidone in Chinese Han population.
    Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 01/2013; · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent genome wide association studies (GWASs) assessing the relationship between schizophrenia (SZ) and the ZNF804A gene, particularly the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1344706, have yielded conflicting results. Schizophrenia is a heterogeneous disorder, so it is possible that an association may be restricted to specific SZ subtypes and that population heterogeneity may obscure a contribution of ZNF804A allelic variation to SZ risk. We thus evaluated the association between rs1344706 and different clinical SZ subtypes in a large Han Chinese patient population. The rs1344706 genotype was determined in 1,025 SZ patients and 977 healthy controls using polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphisms (PCR-RFLPs). The clinical SZ subtypes included paranoid, catatonic, disintegrated, and undifferentiated, diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition IV (DSM-IV). No significant differences in genotype and allele frequencies were found between controls and either the total SZ population (A > C, chi2 = 4.339, 2.994; p = 0.227, 0.087, respectively) or paranoid SZ patients (chi2 = 2.053, 0.002; p = 0.562, 0.973, respectively). However, there was a significant association between genotype frequency and SZ subtype (chi2 = 12.632, p = 0.049). We found no evidence that the ZNF804A SNP rs1344706 is a susceptibility locus for SZ. However, conflicting results from previous association studies may be due to genetic heterogeneity between different patient SZ subtypes.
    The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine 01/2013; 45(3):269-78. · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ghrelin (GHRL) is a pivotal peptide regulator of food intake, energy balance, and body mass. Weight gain (WG) is a common side effect of the atypical antipsychotics (AAPs) used to treat schizophrenia (SZ). Ghrelin polymorphisms have been associated with pathogenic variations in plasma lipid concentrations, blood pressure, plasma glucose, and body mass index (BMI). However, it is unclear whether GHRL polymorphisms are associated with WG due to AAPs. Furthermore, there is no evidence of an association between GHRL polymorphisms and SZ or the therapeutic response to AAPs. We explored these potential associations by genotyping GHRL alleles in SZ patients and controls. We also examined the relation between these SNPs and changes in metabolic indices during AAP treatment in SZ subgroups distinguished by high or low therapeutic response. Four SNPs (Leu72Met, -501A/C, -604 G/A, and -1062 G > C) were genotyped in 634 schizophrenia patients and 606 control subjects. There were no significant differences in allele frequencies, genotype distributions, or the distributions of two SNP haplotypes between SZ patients and healthy controls (P > 0.05). There was also no significant difference in symptom reduction between genotypes after 8 weeks of AAP treatment as measured by positive and negative symptom scale scores (PANSS). However, the -604 G/A polymorphism was associated with a greater BMI increase in response to AAP administration in both APP responders and non-responders as distinguished by PANSS score reduction (P < 0.001). There were also significant differences in WG when the responder group was further subdivided according to the specific AAP prescribed (P < 0.05). These four GHRL gene SNPs were not associated with SZ in this Chinese Han population. The -604 G/A polymorphism was associated with significant BW and BMI increases during AAP treatment. Patients exhibiting higher WG showed greater improvements in positive and negative symptoms than patients exhibiting lower weight gain or weight loss.
    Behavioral and Brain Functions 02/2012; 8:11. · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies have indicated that maternal infection during pregnancy may lead to a higher incidence of schizophrenia in the offspring. It is assumed that the maternal infection increases the immune response, leading to neurodevelopmental disorders in the offspring. Maternal polyinosinic-polycytidilic acid (PolyI:C) treatment induces a wide range of characteristics in the offspring mimicking some schizophrenia symptoms in humans. These observations are consistent with the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia. We examined whether suppression of the maternal immune response could prevent neurodevelopmental disorders in adult offspring. PolyI:C or saline was administered to early pregnant rats to mimic maternal infection, and the maternal immune response represented by tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) levels was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). The NF-κB inhibitor pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) was used to suppress the maternal immune response. Neurodevelopmental disorders in adult offspring were examined by prepulse inhibition (PPI), passive avoidance, and active avoidance tests. PolyI:C administration to early pregnant rats led to elevated serum cytokine levels as shown by massive increases in serum TNF-α and IL-10 levels. The adult offspring showed defects in prepulse inhibition, and passive avoidance and active avoidance tests. PDTC intervention in early pregnant rats suppressed cytokine increases and reduced the severity of neurodevelopmental defects in adult offspring. Our findings suggest that PDTC can suppress the maternal immune response induced by PolyI:C and partially prevent neurodevelopmental disorders of adult offspring.
    Behavioral and Brain Functions 12/2011; 7:50. · 2.79 Impact Factor
  • Psychiatry Research 06/2011; 190(2-3):379-81. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia (SZ) is a common and complex psychiatric disorder with a strong genetic component. Previous research suggests that mutations altering genes in neurodevelopmental pathways contribute to SZ. Reelin gene (RELN) maps to chromosome 7q22.1, the encoded protein plays a pivotal role in guiding neuronal migration, lamination and connection during embryonic brain development. Several reports had indicated that reduced RELN expression is associated with human mental illnesses such as SZ, mood disorders and autism. In this study, case-control association analyses were performed in the Han Chinese population to determine if the RELN gene is a susceptibility gene for SZ. Thirty-seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in 528 paranoid SZ patients and 528 control subjects. A significant association was found between rs12705169 and SZ (p=0.001). Moreover, the haplotypes constructed from five SNPs showed significant differences between cases and controls (p=0.041). When subjects were divided by gender, rs12705169 remained significant difference only in females (OR=0.24, 95%CI=0.14-0.40 for CC and OR=0.40, 95%CI=0.27-0.58 for AC), both in the allele and genotype (p=0.0001 for both). This study describes a positive association between RELN and SZ in the Han Chinese population, and provides genetic evidence to support the gender difference of SZ.
    Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 04/2011; 35(6):1505-11. · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent research has implicated that mutations in the neurexin-1 (NRXN1) gene on chromosome 2p16.3 might play a role in schizophrenia, autism, and nicotine dependence. In order to explore the association of NRXN1 polymorphisms with schizophrenia, we made a case-control association study in Chinese Han population. We examined six tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning 116.7 kb of NRXN1 in 768 schizophrenic patients and 738 healthy control subjects. The association of NRXN1 polymorphisms with schizophrenia and the age-at-onset of this disease were explored. Our results showed that four SNPs of NRXN1 gene were significantly associated with schizophrenia (rs10490168: G > A, p = 0.017; rs2024513: A > G, p = 0.006; rs13382584: T > C, p = 0.009; and rs1558852: G > A, p = 0.031). Furthermore, the association of SNP rs2024513 with schizophrenia remained significance after the Bonferroni correction. Haplotypes consisting of above six SNPs also showed significantly associated with schizophrenia (global chi-square = 14.725, p = 0.022). A protective haplotype AGTGCA remained associated with schizophrenia, even after 10,000 permutation tests (empirical p-value = 0.043). However, we did not find any association with age-at-onset of schizophrenia with NRXN1 polymorphisms. Our findings suggest that NRXN1 might represent a major susceptibility gene for schizophrenia in Chinese Han population.
    Behavioral and Brain Functions 01/2011; 7:7. · 2.79 Impact Factor