Nicotine dependence and serum BDNF levels in male patients with schizophrenia

Center for Biological Psychiatry, Beijing HuiLongGuan Hospital, Beijing, 100096, China.
Psychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 3.88). 10/2010; 212(3):301-7. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-010-1956-y
Source: PubMed


Schizophrenia is associated with a significantly high prevalence of smoking. Upregulation of neurotrophins by nicotine is well established. Accumulating evidence shows that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) may be involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. The purposes of this study were to compare BDNF levels in smokers to nonsmokers with schizophrenia and examine the association between BDNF levels and psychopathological symptoms.
Serum BDNF levels were measured in 139 male inpatients with DSM-IV schizophrenia: 102 smokers and 37 nonsmokers. Symptoms were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
The positive PANSS symptoms were lower in smokers than in nonsmokers, while the negative symptoms were lower in those who smoked more cigarettes. BDNF levels were significantly higher in smokers than in nonsmokers (p < 0.05). Higher BDNF levels correlated with fewer negative symptoms and with smoking more cigarettes.
The fewer positive symptoms in smokers and fewer negative symptoms in those who smoked more cigarettes may be associated with nicotine-induced upregulation of BDNF.

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Available from: Xiang Yang Zhang, Oct 02, 2015
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    • "BDNF is a neurotrophic factor involved in synaptic plasticity inducible by activity dependent processes and is highly epigenetically regulated (Roth et al., 2009; Tian et al., 2010). The reduction in the expression of this neuroplasticity gene in schizophrenia has been previously reported by several labs (Thompson Ray et al., 2011; Zhang et al., 2010). Furthermore, the schizophrenia candidate gene involved in synaptic plasticity, reelin, may be downregulated in schizophrenia perhaps via increased promoter DNA methylation (Abdolmaleky et al., 2005; Fatemi et al., 2005; Grayson et al., 2005). "
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