[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although evidence for mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of bipolar disorder (BD) has been reported, the precise biological basis remains unknown, hampering the search for novel biomarkers. In this study, we performed metabolomics of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from male BD patients (n=54) and age-matched male healthy controls (n=40). Subsequently, post-mortem brain analyses, genetic analyses, metabolomics of CSF samples from rats treated with lithium or valproic acid were also performed. After multivariate logistic regression, isocitric acid (isocitrate) levels were significantly higher in the CSF from BD patients than healthy controls. Furthermore, gene expression of two subtypes (IDH3A and IDH3B) of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex from BD patients was significantly lower than that of controls, although the expression of other genes including, aconitase (ACO1, ACO2), IDH1, IDH2 and IDH3G, were not altered. Moreover, protein expression of IDH3A in the cerebellum from BD patients was higher than that of controls. Genetic analyses showed that IDH genes (IDH1, IDH2, IDH3A, IDH3B) and ACO genes (ACO1, ACO2) were not associated with BD. Chronic (4 weeks) treatment with lithium or valproic acid in rats did not alter CSF levels of isocitrate, and mRNA levels of Idh3a, Idh3b, Aco1 and Aco2 genes in the rat brain. These findings suggest that abnormality in the metabolism of isocitrate by IDH3A in the mitochondria plays a key role in the pathogenesis of BD, supporting the mitochondrial dysfunction hypothesis of BD. Therefore, IDH3 in the citric acid cycle could potentially be a novel therapeutic target for BD.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 19 January 2016; doi:10.1038/mp.2015.217.
Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Molecular Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Abnormal levels of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have been found in the postmortem frontal cortex, particularly the orbitofrontal cortex, of patients with schizophrenia. Altered mRNA expression of fatty acid binding protein (FABP) 5 and FABP7 has likewise been reported.
This study investigated whether PUFAs in the frontal cortex [Brodmann area (BA) 8] and mRNA expression of FABP3, 5, and 7 were different between patients with schizophrenia (n=95) and unaffected controls (n=93).
In contrast to previous studies, no significant differences were found in DHA between the groups. Although arachidonic acid (AA) levels were significantly decreased in the schizophrenia group, no association was found between AA and schizophrenia on logistic regression analysis. Only FABP3 expression was significantly lower in the schizophrenia group than in the control group. Significant inverse associations were seen between only two saturated fatty acids, behenic acid and lignoceric acid, and FABP3 expression.
We found no evidence that major PUFA levels in BA8 are involved in the etiology of schizophrenia. Although FABP3 expression was not correlated with any of the major PUFAs, it might play a novel role in the pathology of BA8 in a subset of patients with schizophrenia.
No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Schizophrenia Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The solute carrier 27A (SLC27A) gene family encodes fatty acid transport proteins (FATPs) and includes 6 members. During fetal and postnatal periods of development, the growing brain requires a reliable supply of fatty acids. Because autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are now recognized as disorders caused by impaired early brain development, it is possible that functional abnormalities of SLC27A genes may contribute to the pathogenesis of ASD. Here, we confirmed the expression of SLC27A3 and SLC27A4 in human neural stem cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells, which suggested their involvement in the developmental stage of the central nervous system. Additionally, we resequenced the SLC27A3 and SLC27A4 genes using 267 ASD patient and 1140 control samples and detected 47 (44 novel and 29 nonsynonymous) and 30 (17 novel and 14 nonsynonymous) variants for the SLC27A3 and SLC27A4, respectively, revealing that they are highly polymorphic with multiple rare variants. The SLC27A4 Ser209 allele was more frequently represented in ASD samples. Furthermore, we showed that a SLC27A4 Ser209 mutant resulted in significantly higher fluorescently-labeled fatty acid uptake into bEnd3 cells, a mouse brain capillary-derived endothelial cell line, compared with SLC27A4 Gly209, suggesting that the functional change may contribute to ASD pathophysiology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The human discs, large homolog 1 gene (DLG1) is mapped to the schizophrenia-susceptibility locus 3q29, and it encodes a scaffold protein that interacts with the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor presumably dysregulated in schizophrenia. In the current study, we have newly identified a splicing variant of DLG1, which is transcribed from an unreported 95-base-pair exon (exon 3b) and is labeled 3b(+). We investigated the mRNA expression of 3b(+) in the post-mortem dorsolateral prefrontal cortices of patients with psychiatric disorders, obtained from The Stanley Medical Research Institute, and examined the potential association of the expression with the genotype of the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs3915512 located within exon 3b. A real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction revealed that the mRNA levels of 3b(+) were significantly reduced in patients with early-onset schizophrenia (onset at <18 years old, P=0.0003) but not in those with non-early-onset schizophrenia, early-onset or non-early-onset bipolar disorder or in the controls. Furthermore, the genotype at the rs3915512 SNP was closely associated with the levels of 3b(+) mRNA expression. It is inferred that the T allele fails to meet the exonic splicing enhancer consensus, thus resulting in skipping of exon 3b, leading to the expression of 3b(-) (the previously known DLG1 variant) but not 3b(+). Because all the subjects with early-onset schizophrenia in the current study possess the T/T genotype, the reduced level of the DLG1 3b(+) transcript may be involved in the susceptibility and/or pathophysiology of early-onset schizophrenia.
Preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Translational Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent reports suggest that carbonyl stress might affect a subset of schizophrenia patients suffering from severe symptoms. Carbonyl stress protection is achieved by the glyoxalase system consisting of two enzymes, glyoxalase 1 and 2, which in humans are encoded by the genes GLO1 and HAGH, respectively. Glyoxalase 1 and 2 catalyze the detoxification of reactive alpha-oxoaldehydes such as glyoxal and methylglyoxal, which are particularly damaging components of carbonyl stress. Here, we investigated the role of the glyoxalase system in schizophrenia by performing association analyses of common genetic variants (n = 12) in GLO1 and HAGH in a Japanese sample consisting of 2012 schizophrenia patients and 2170 healthy controls. We detected a nominally significant association with schizophrenia (p = 0.020) of rs11859266, a SNP in the intronic region of HAGH. However, rs11859266 did not survive multiple testing (empirical p = 0.091). The variants in HAGH, rs11859266 and rs3743852 showed significant associations with schizophrenia in males at allelic and genotype levels, which remained persistent after multiple testing with the exception of rs3743852 for the genotype model. We further measured the mRNA expression of both genes in postmortem brain, but did not detect any changes in transcript expression levels between case and control samples or in sex-specific comparisons. Therefore, our findings suggest that an explanation of elevated carbonyl stress in a substantial part (reported as ~ 20%) of patients with schizophrenia will require the examination of much larger cohort to detect risk alleles with weak effect size and/or other risk factors.
No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is widely accepted that malfunction of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-type glutamate receptor may be involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Several recent microRNA (miRNA) studies have demonstrated that the expression of the glutamate system-related miR-132 and miR-212 is changed in postmortem schizophrenic brains. Here we attempted to obtain further insight into the relationships among schizophrenia, the NMDA receptor, the molecular cascades controlled by these miRNAs and commonly predicted target genes of the two miRNAs. We focused on the H2AFZ (encoding H2A histone family, member Z) gene, whose expression was shown in our screening study to be modified by a schizophrenomimetic NMDA antagonist, phencyclidine. By performing polymerase chain reaction with fluorescent signal detention using the TaqMan system, we examined four tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; SNP01-04) located around and within the H2AFZ gene for their genetic association with schizophrenia. The subjects were a Japanese cohort (2,012 patients with schizophrenia and 2,170 control subjects). We did not detect any significant genetic association of these SNPs with schizophrenia in this cohort. However, we observed a significant association of SNP02 (rs2276939) in the male patients with schizophrenia (allelic P = 0.003, genotypic P = 0.008). A haplotype analysis revealed that haplotypes consisting of SNP02-SNP03 (rs10014424)-SNP04 (rs6854536) also showed a significant association in the male patients with schizophrenia (P = 0.018). These associations remained significant even after correction for multiple testing. The present findings suggest that the H2AFZ gene may be a susceptibility factor in male subjects with schizophrenia, and that modification of the H2AFZ signaling pathway warrants further study in terms of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.
Preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Neural Transmission
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Nuclear distribution E homolog 1 (NDE1), located within chromosome 16p13.11, plays an essential role in microtubule organization,
mitosis, and neuronal migration and has been suggested by several studies of rare copy number variants to be a promising schizophrenia
(SCZ) candidate gene. Recently, increasing attention has been paid to rare single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) discovered by
deep sequencing of candidate genes, because such SNVs may have large effect sizes and their functional analysis may clarify
etiopathology. Methods and Results: We conducted mutation screening of NDE1 coding exons using 433 SCZ and 145 pervasive developmental disorders samples in order
to identify rare single nucleotide variants with a minor allele frequency ≤5%. We then performed genetic association analysis
using a large number of unrelated individuals (3554 SCZ, 1041 bipolar disorder [BD], and 4746 controls). Among the discovered
novel rare variants, we detected significant associations between SCZ and S214F (P = .039), and between BD and R234C (P = .032). Furthermore, functional assays showed that S214F affected axonal outgrowth and the interaction between NDE1 and
YWHAE (14-3-3 epsilon; a neurodevelopmental regulator). Conclusions: This study strengthens the evidence for association between rare variants within NDE1 and SCZ, and may shed light into the
molecular mechanisms underlying this severe psychiatric disorder.
No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Schizophrenia Bulletin
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Histone H3 methylation at lysine 9 (H3K9) is a conserved epigenetic signal, mediating heterochromatin formation by trimethylation, and transcriptional silencing by dimethylation. Defective GLP (Ehmt1) and G9a (Ehmt2) histone lysine methyltransferases, involved in mono and dimethylation of H3K9, confer autistic phenotypes and behavioral abnormalities in animal models. Moreover, EHMT1 loss of function results in Kleefstra syndrome, characterized by severe intellectual disability, developmental delays and psychiatric disorders. We examined the possible role of histone methyltransferases in the etiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and suggest that rare functional variants in these genes that regulate H3K9 methylation may be associated with ASD.
Since G9a-GLP-Wiz forms a heteromeric methyltransferase complex, all the protein-coding regions and exon/intron boundaries of EHMT1, EHMT2 and WIZ were sequenced in Japanese ASD subjects. The detected variants were prioritized based on novelty and functionality. The expression levels of these genes were tested in blood cells and postmortem brain samples from ASD and control subjects. Expression of EHMT1 and EHMT2 isoforms were determined by digital PCR.
We identified six nonsynonymous variants: three in EHMT1, two in EHMT2 and one in WIZ. Two variants, the EHMT1 ankyrin repeat domain (Lys968Arg) and EHMT2 SET domain (Thr961Ile) variants were present exclusively in cases, but showed no statistically significant association with ASD. The EHMT2 transcript expression was significantly elevated in the peripheral blood cells of ASD when compared with control samples; but not for EHMT1 and WIZ. Gene expression levels of EHMT1, EHMT2 and WIZ in Brodmann area (BA) 9, BA21, BA40 and the dorsal raphe nucleus (DoRN) regions from postmortem brain samples showed no significant changes between ASD and control subjects. Nor did expression levels of EHMT1 and EHMT2 isoforms in the prefrontal cortex differ significantly between ASD and control groups.
We identified two novel rare missense variants in the EHMT1 and EHMT2 genes of ASD patients. We surmise that these variants alone may not be sufficient to exert a significant effect on ASD pathogenesis. The elevated expression of EHMT2 in the peripheral blood cells may support the notion of a restrictive chromatin state in ASD, similar to schizophrenia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Identifying beneficial surrogate genetic markers in psychiatric disorders is crucial but challenging, partly because brain tissue from living individuals is not accessible.
Given that scalp hair follicles are easily accessible and, like the brain, are derived from the ectoderm during embryogenesis, expressions of mRNA and miRNA in the organ were examined between schizophrenia (n for first/second = 52/42) and controls (n = 62/55) in two sets of cohort. Genes of significance were also analyzed using postmortem brains (n for case/control = 35/35 in BA46, 20/20 in CA1) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) (n = 4/4) and iPSC-derived neurospheres (n = 12/12) to see their role in central nervous system and in developmental process. Expression levels of mRNA for autism (n for case/control = 18/24) were also examined using scalp hair follicles.
Among mRNA examined, FABP4 was down-regulated in schizophrenics by two independent sample sets. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis determined that the sensitivity and specificity were 71.8% and 66.7%, respectively. FABP4 was expressed from the stage of neurosphere. Additionally, microarray-based miRNA analysis showed a trend of increased expression of hsa-miR-4449 (p = 0.0634) in hair follicles from schizophrenia. hsa-miR-4449 expression was increased in BA46 from schizophrenia (p = 0.0007). Finally, we tested the expression of 9 putative autism candidate genes in hair follicles and found decreased CNTNAP2 expression in autism cohort.
Scalp hair follicles could be a beneficial genetic biomarker resource for brain diseases, and further studies of FABP4 are merited in schizophrenia pathogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: GABAergic interneurons are highly heterogeneous, and much is unknown about the specification and functional roles of their neural circuits. Here we show that a transinteraction of Elfn1 and mGluR7 controls targeted interneuron synapse development and that loss of Elfn1 results in hyperactivity and sensory-triggered epileptic seizures in mice. Elfn1 protein increases during postnatal development and localizes to postsynaptic sites of somatostatin-containing interneurons (SOM-INs) in the hippocampal CA1 stratum oriens and dentate gyrus (DG) hilus. Elfn1 knockout (KO) mice have deficits in mGluR7 recruitment to synaptic sites on SOM-INs, and presynaptic plasticity is impaired at these synapses. In patients with epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), we find damaging missense mutations of ELFN1 that are clustered in the carboxy-terminal region required for mGluR7 recruitment. These results reveal a novel mechanism for interneuron subtype-specific neural circuit establishment and define a common basis bridging neurological disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Disturbances of lipid metabolism have been implicated in psychiatric illnesses. We previously reported an association between
the gene for fatty acid binding protein 7 (FABP7) and schizophrenia. Furthermore, we identified and reported several rare non-synonymous polymorphisms of the brain-expressed
genes FABP3, FABP5 and FABP7 from schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), diseases known to part share genetic architecture. Here, we conducted
further studies to better understand the contribution these genes make to the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and ASD. In postmortem
brains, we detected altered mRNA expression levels of FABP5 in schizophrenia, and of FABP7 in ASD and altered FABP5 in peripheral lymphocytes. Using a patient cohort, comprehensive mutation screening identified six missense and two frameshift
variants from the three FABP genes. The two frameshift proteins, FABP3 E132fs and FABP7 N80fs, formed cellular aggregates
and were unstable when expressed in cultured cells. The four missense mutants with predicted possible damaging outcomes showed
no changes in intracellular localization. Examining ligand binding properties, FABP7 S86G and FABP7 V126L lost their preference
for docosahexaenoic acid to linoleic acid. Finally, mice deficient in Fabp3, Fabp5 and Fabp7 were evaluated in a systematic behavioral test battery. The Fabp3 knockout (KO) mice showed decreased social memory and novelty seeking, and Fabp7 KO mice displayed hyperactive and anxiety-related phenotypes, while Fabp5 KO mice showed no apparent phenotypes. In conclusion, disturbances in brain-expressed FABPs could represent an underlying
disease mechanism in a proportion of schizophrenia and ASD sufferers.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Human Molecular Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Disruption of synaptic networks has been advocated in the pathogenesis of psychiatric diseases like schizophrenia. The majority of synaptic proteins involved in neuronal communications are localized in lipid rafts. These rafts form the platform for coordinating neuronal signal transduction, by clustering interacting partners. The PAG1 protein is a transmembrane adaptor protein in the lipid raft signaling cluster that regulates Src family kinases (SFKs), a convergent point for multiple pathways regulating N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Reports of de novo missense mutations in PAG1 and SFK mediated reductions in tyrosine phosphorylation of NMDA receptor subunit proteins in schizophrenia patients, point to a putative role in schizophrenia pathogenesis. To evaluate this, we resequenced the entire coding region of PAG1 in Japanese schizophrenia patients (n = 1,140) and controls (n = 1,140). We identified eight missense variants, of which four were previously unreported. Case-control genetic association analysis of these variants in a larger cohort (n = 4,182) showed neither a statistically significant association of the individual variants with schizophrenia, nor any increased burden of the rare alleles in the patient group. Expression levels of PAG1 in post-mortem brain samples from schizophrenia patients and controls also showed no significant differences. To assess the precise role of PAG1 in schizophrenia, future studies with larger sample sizes are needed.
No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Journal of Neural Transmission
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a genome-wide association study of autism, zinc finger protein 804A (ZNF804A) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were found to be nominally associated in verbally deficient individuals with autism. Zinc finger protein 804A copy number variations (CNVs) have also been observed in individuals with autism. In addition, ZNF804A is known to be involved in theory of mind (ToM) tasks, and ToM deficits are deemed responsible for the communication and social challenges faced by individuals with autism. We hypothesized that ZNF804A could be a risk gene for autism.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myo-inositol is an essential biomolecule that is synthesized by myo-inositol monophosphatase (IMPase) from inositol monophosphate species. The enzymatic activity of IMPase is inhibited by lithium, a drug used for the treatment of mood swings seen in bipolar disorder. Therefore, myo-inositol is thought to have an important role in the mechanism of bipolar disorder though the details remain elusive. We screened an ethyl-nitrosourea (ENU) mutant mouse library for IMPase gene (Impa1) mutations and identified an Impa1 Thr95Lys missense mutation. The mutant protein possessed undetectable enzymatic activity. Homozygotes died perinatally, and E18.5 embryos exhibited striking developmental defects, including hypoplasia of the mandible and asymmetric fusion of ribs to the sternum. Perinatal lethality and morphological defects in homozygotes were rescued by dietary myo-inositol. Rescued homozygotes raised on normal drinking water after weaning exhibited a hyper-locomotive trait and prolonged circadian periods, as reported in rodents treated with lithium. Our mice should be advantageous, compared to those generated by the conventional gene knockout strategy, because they carry minimal genomic damage, e.g. a point mutation. Our results reveal critical roles for intracellular myo-inositol synthesis in craniofacial development and the maintenance of proper brain function. Furthermore, this mouse model for cellular inositol depletion could be beneficial for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the clinical effect of lithium and myo-inositol-mediated skeletal development.
No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The penetrance of schizophrenia risk in carriers of the 22q11.2 deletion is high but incomplete, suggesting the possibility of additional genetic defects. We performed whole exome sequencing on two individuals with 22q11.2 deletion, one with schizophrenia and the other who was psychosis-free. The results revealed novel genetic variants related to neuronal function exclusively in the person with schizophrenia (frameshift: KAT8, APOH and SNX31; nonsense: EFCAB11 and CLVS2). This study paves the way towards a more complete understanding of variant dose and genetic architecture in schizophrenia.
No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several epidemiological and genetic studies have suggested that the risk of type II diabetes (T2D) is likely to overlap with the susceptibility to psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BD). In this study, we aimed to examine the association of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) detected in previous T2D genome-wide association studies (GWAS) with SCZ, BD and psychosis (SCZ plus BD). A total of 37 SNPs were selected from the literature. A two-stage analysis was conducted using a first set of screening samples (total N=3037) and a second set of replication samples (N=4950). None of the SNPs showed a significant association to the screening samples after correction for multiple testing. To avoid type II error, we genotyped the top three SNPs in BCL11A, HMG20A and HNF4A showing associations with any of the phenotypes (Puncorrected <0.01) using independent samples to replicate the nominal associations. However, we were unable to find any significant associations based on the screening results (Puncorrected>0.05). Our findings did not support the shared genetic risk between T2D and psychotic disorders in the Japanese population. However, further replication using a larger sample size is required.Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 7 November 2013; doi:10.1038/jhg.2013.116.
No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Journal of Human Genetics