1Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 2003 Sep 60: 869-74
TitleDecreased thalamic expression of the homeobox gene DLX1 in psychosis.
AbstractA shared vulnerability to develop psychosis can be related to abnormalities in thalamic circuits in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and could be a genetic link between these disorders. Homeobox genes involved in development and differentiation of the brain could play an important role in these disorders.
To determine whether patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have different thalamic expression patterns of 2 homeobox genes, DLX1 and SHOX2 (alias OG12X or SHOT) compared with psychiatric and nonpsychiatric control subjects.
Postmortem sections containing the thalamic mediodorsal nucleus were subjected to in situ hybridization with mouse DLX1 and human SHOX2 RNA probes. The number of both DLX1- and SHOX2-positive neurons relative to Nissl-stained neurons was estimated in systematic randomly sampled volume probes. Patients Fifteen patients with schizophrenia, 15 with bipolar disorder with or without history of psychosis, 15 with major depressive disorder, and 15 nonpsychiatric controls from the Stanley Foundation Brain Bank.
Relative numbers of DLX1- and SHOX2-positive neurons in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder with history of psychosis compared with psychiatric and nonpsychiatric controls.
Patients with a history of psychosis showed significantly decreased relative numbers of DLX1-positive neurons compared with patients without history of psychosis and nonpsychiatric controls (P =.02), whereas no differences could be found in relative numbers of SHOX2-positive neurons (P>.15). Results were obtained blind to diagnosis, symptoms, or any other variable except hemisphere.
Decreased thalamic expression of DLX1 in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder with psychosis suggests shared genetic deficits in expression of this homeobox gene.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
2Am. J. Med. Genet. B Neuropsychiatr. Genet. 2008 Oct 147B: 1089-100
TitleAssociation analysis of schizophrenia on 18 genes involved in neuronal migration: MDGA1 as a new susceptibility gene.
AbstractSeveral lines of evidence support the theory of schizophrenia (SZ) being a neurodevelopmental disorder. The structural, cytoarchitectural and functional brain abnormalities reported in patients with SZ, might be due to aberrant neuronal migration, since the final position of neurons affects neuronal function, morphology, and formation of synaptic connections. We have investigated the putative association between SZ and gene variants engaged in the neuronal migration process, by performing an association study on 839 cases and 1,473 controls of Scandinavian origin. Using a gene-wide approach, tagSNPs in 18 candidate genes have been genotyped, with gene products involved in the neuron-to-glial cell adhesion, interactions with the DISC1 protein and/or rearrangements of the cytoskeleton. Of the 289 markers tested, 19 markers located in genes MDGA1, RELN, ITGA3, DLX1, SPARCL1, and ASTN1, attained nominal significant P-values (P < 0.05) in either a genotypic or allelic association test. All of these genes, except transcription factor DLX1, are involved in the adhesion between neurons and radial glial cells. Eight markers obtained nominal significance in both tests, and were located in intronic or 3'UTR regions of adhesion molecule MDGA1 and previously reported SZ candidate RELN. The most significant result was attained for MDGA1 SNP rs9462341 (unadjusted association results: genotypic P = 0.00095; allelic P = 0.010). Several haplotypes within MDGA1, RELN, ITGA3, and ENAH were nominally significant. Further studies in independent samples are needed, including upcoming genome wide association study results, but our data suggest that MDGA1 is a new SZ susceptibility gene, and that altered neuronal migration is involved in SZ pathology.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
3J Neurodev Disord 2009 Sep 1: 224-36
TitleReduced conditioned fear response in mice that lack Dlx1 and show subtype-specific loss of interneurons.
AbstractThe inhibitory GABAergic system has been implicated in multiple neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia and autism. The Dlx homeobox transcription factor family is essential for development and function of GABAergic interneurons. Mice lacking the DLX1 gene have postnatal subtype-specific loss of interneurons and reduced IPSCs in their cortex and hippocampus. To ascertain consequences of these changes in the GABAergic system, we performed a battery of behavioral assays on the DLX1 mutant mice, including zero maze, open field, locomotor activity, food intake, rotarod, tail suspension, fear conditioning assays (context and trace), prepulse inhibition, and working memory related tasks (spontaneous alteration task and spatial working memory task). DLX1 mutant mice displayed elevated activity levels in open field, locomotor activity, and tail suspension tests. These mice also showed deficits in contextual and trace fear conditioning, and possibly in prepulse inhibition. Their learning deficits were not global, as the mutant mice did not differ from the wild-type controls in tests of working memory. Our findings demonstrate a critical role for the DLX1 gene, and likely the subclasses of interneurons that are affected by the lack of this gene, in behavioral inhibition and associative fear learning. These observations support the involvement of particular components of the GABAergic system in specific behavioral phenotypes related to complex neuropsychiatric diseases.
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11689-009-9025-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
4PLoS ONE 2010 -1 5: e10392
TitleExpression of the Rap1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor, MR-GEF, is altered in individuals with bipolar disorder.
AbstractIn the rodent forebrain GABAergic neurons are generated from progenitor cells that express the transcription factors DLX1 and Dlx2. The Rap-1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor, MR-GEF, is turned on by many of these developing GABAergic neurons. Expression of both DLX1/2 and MR-GEF is retained in both adult mouse and human forebrain where, in human, decreased DLX1 expression has been associated with psychosis. Using in situ hybridization studies we show that MR-GEF expression is significantly down-regulated in the forebrain of DLX1/2 double mutant mice suggesting that MR-GEF and DLX1/2 form part of a common signalling pathway during GABAergic neuronal development. We therefore compared MR-GEF expression by in situ hybridization in individuals with major psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression) and control individuals. We observed a significant positive correlation between layers II and IV of the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in the percentage of MR-GEF expressing neurons in individuals with bipolar disorder, but not in individuals with schizophrenia, major depressive disorder or in controls. Since MR-GEF encodes a Rap1 GEF able to activate G-protein signalling, we suggest that changes in MR-GEF expression could potentially influence neurotransmission.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
5Biol. Psychiatry 2012 Nov 72: 725-33
TitleHigher gamma-aminobutyric acid neuron density in the white matter of orbital frontal cortex in schizophrenia.
AbstractIn the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), reduced gray matter volume and reduced glutamic acid decarboxylase 67kDa isoform (GAD67) messenger (m)RNA are found in schizophrenia; however, how these alterations relate to developmental pathology of interneurons is unclear. The present study therefore aimed to determine if increased interstitial white matter neuron (IWMN) density exists in the OFC; whether gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neuron density in OFC white matter was altered; and how IWMN density may be related to an early-expressed inhibitory neuron marker, DLX1, in OFC gray matter in schizophrenia.
IWMN densities were determined (38 schizophrenia and 38 control subjects) for neuronal nuclear antigen (NeuN+) and 65/67 kDa isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase immunopositive (GAD65/67+) neurons. In situ hybridization was performed to determine DLX1 and GAD67 mRNA expression in the OFC gray matter.
NeuN and GAD65/67 immunopositive cell density was significantly increased in the superficial white matter in schizophrenia. Gray matter DLX1 and GAD67 mRNA expression were reduced in schizophrenia. DLX1 mRNA levels were negatively correlated with GAD65/67 IWMN density.
Our study provides evidence that pathology of IWMNs in schizophrenia includes GABAergic interneurons and that increased IWMN density may be related to GABAergic deficits in the overlying gray matter. These findings provide evidence at the cellular level that the OFC is a site of pathology in schizophrenia and support the hypothesis that inappropriate migration of cortical inhibitory interneurons occurs in schizophrenia.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
6Transl Psychiatry 2015 -1 5: e679
TitleDeciphering H3K4me3 broad domains associated with gene-regulatory networks and conserved epigenomic landscapes in the human brain.
AbstractRegulators of the histone H3-trimethyl lysine-4 (H3K4me3) mark are significantly associated with the genetic risk architecture of common neurodevelopmental disease, including schizophrenia and autism. Typical H3K4me3 is primarily localized in the form of sharp peaks, extending in neuronal chromatin on average only across 500-1500 base pairs mostly in close proximity to annotated transcription start sites. Here, through integrative computational analysis of epigenomic and transcriptomic data based on next-generation sequencing, we investigated H3K4me3 landscapes of sorted neuronal and non-neuronal nuclei in human postmortem, non-human primate and mouse prefrontal cortex (PFC), and blood. To explore whether H3K4me3 peak signals could also extend across much broader domains, we examined broadest domain cell-type-specific H3K4me3 peaks in an unbiased manner with an innovative approach on 41+12 ChIP-seq and RNA-seq data sets. In PFC neurons, broadest H3K4me3 distribution ranged from 3.9 to 12?kb, with extremely broad peaks (~10?kb or broader) related to synaptic function and GABAergic signaling (DLX1, ELFN1, GAD1, IGSF9B and LINC00966). Broadest neuronal peaks showed distinct motif signatures and were centrally positioned in prefrontal gene-regulatory Bayesian networks and sensitive to defective neurodevelopment. Approximately 120 of the broadest H3K4me3 peaks in human PFC neurons, including many genes related to glutamatergic and dopaminergic signaling, were fully conserved in chimpanzee, macaque and mouse cortical neurons. Exploration of spread and breadth of lysine methylation markings could provide novel insights into epigenetic mechanism involved in neuropsychiatric disease and neuronal genome evolution.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
7Schizophr. Res. 2016 Mar -1: -1
TitleAltered expression of developmental regulators of parvalbumin and somatostatin neurons in the prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia.
AbstractDysfunction of prefrontal cortex (PFC) inhibitory neurons that express the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin or the neuropeptide somatostatin in schizophrenia may be related to disturbances in the migration, phenotypic specification, and/or maturation of these neurons. These pre- and postnatal developmental stages are regulated in a cell type-specific manner by various transcription factors and co-activators, fibroblast growth factor receptors (FgfR), and other molecular markers. Consequently, we used quantitative PCR to quantify mRNA levels for these developmental regulators in the PFC of 62 schizophrenia subjects in whom parvalbumin and somatostatin neuron disturbances were previously reported, and in antipsychotic-exposed monkeys. Relative to unaffected comparison subjects, subjects with schizophrenia exhibited elevated mRNA levels for 1) the transcription factor MafB, which is expressed by parvalbumin and somatostatin neurons as they migrate from the medial ganglionic eminence to the cortex, 2) the transcriptional coactivator PGC-1?, which is expressed postnatally by parvalbumin neurons to maintain parvalbumin levels and inhibitory function, and 3) FgfR1, which is required for the migration and phenotypic specification of parvalbumin and somatostatin neurons. Elevations in these markers were most prominent in younger schizophrenia subjects and were not present in antipsychotic-exposed monkeys. Finally, expression levels of other important developmental regulators (i.e. DLX1, Dlx5, Dlx6, SATB1, Sip1/Zeb2, ST8SIA4, cMaf, Nkx6.2, and Arx) were not altered in schizophrenia. The over-expression of a subset of molecular markers with distinct roles in the pre- and postnatal development of parvalbumin and somatostatin neurons might reflect compensatory mechanisms to sustain the development of these neurons in the face of other insults.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia