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Vol. 20, No. 6, 2007
Issue release date: 2007
Cell Physiol Biochem 2007;20:687–702
(DOI:10.1159/000110430)

Molecular Mechanisms of Schizophrenia

Lang U.E. · Puls I. · Müller D.J. · Strutz-Seebohm N.1 · Gallinat J.1
Department of Psychiatry, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Campus Mitte,1Department of Physiology, University of Tuebingen
email Corresponding Author

Abstract

Schizophrenia is a complex disorder, where family, twin and adoption studies have been demonstrating a high heritability of the disease and that this disease is not simply defined by several major genes but rather evolves from addition or potentiation of a specific cluster of genes, which subsequently determines the genetic vulnerability of an individual. Linkage and association studies suggest that a genetic vulnerablility, is not forcefully leading to the disease since triggering factors and environmental influences, i.e. birth complications, drug abuse, urban background or time of birth have been identified. This has lead to the assumption that schizophrenia is not only a genetically defined static disorder but a dynamic process leading to dysregulation of multiple pathways. There are several different hypothesis based on several facets of the disease, some of them due to the relatively well-known mechanisms of therapeutic agents. The most widely considered neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia integrates environmental influences and causative genes. The dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia is based on the fact that all common treatments involve antidopaminergic mechanisms and genes such as DRD2, DRD3, DARPP-32, BDNF or COMT are closely related to dopaminergic system functioning. The glutamatergic hypothesis of schizophrenia lead recently to a first successful mGlu2/3 receptor agonistic drug and is underpinned by significant findings in genes regulating the glutamatergic system (SLC1A6, SLC1A2 GRIN1, GRIN2A, GRIA1, NRG1, ErbB4, DTNBP1, DAAO, G72/30, GRM3). Correspondingly, GABA has been proposed to modulate the pathophysiology of the disease which is represented by the involvement of genes like GABRA1, GABRP, GABRA6 and Reelin. Moreover, several genes implicating immune, signaling and networking deficits have been reported to be involved in the disease, i.e. DISC1, RGS4, PRODH, DGCR6, ZDHHC8, DGCR2, Akt, CREB, IL-1B, IL-1RN, IL-10, IL-1B. However, molecular findings suggest that a complex interplay between receptors, kinases, proteins and hormones is involved in schizophrenia. In a unifying hypothesis, different cascades merge into another that ultimately lead to the development of symptoms adherent to schizophrenic disorders.


 Outline


 goto top of outline Key Words

  • Schizophrenia
  • Dopamine
  • GABA
  • PI3K glutamate
  • Infections
  • Neurodevelopmental

 goto top of outline Abstract

Schizophrenia is a complex disorder, where family, twin and adoption studies have been demonstrating a high heritability of the disease and that this disease is not simply defined by several major genes but rather evolves from addition or potentiation of a specific cluster of genes, which subsequently determines the genetic vulnerability of an individual. Linkage and association studies suggest that a genetic vulnerablility, is not forcefully leading to the disease since triggering factors and environmental influences, i.e. birth complications, drug abuse, urban background or time of birth have been identified. This has lead to the assumption that schizophrenia is not only a genetically defined static disorder but a dynamic process leading to dysregulation of multiple pathways. There are several different hypothesis based on several facets of the disease, some of them due to the relatively well-known mechanisms of therapeutic agents. The most widely considered neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia integrates environmental influences and causative genes. The dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia is based on the fact that all common treatments involve antidopaminergic mechanisms and genes such as DRD2, DRD3, DARPP-32, BDNF or COMT are closely related to dopaminergic system functioning. The glutamatergic hypothesis of schizophrenia lead recently to a first successful mGlu2/3 receptor agonistic drug and is underpinned by significant findings in genes regulating the glutamatergic system (SLC1A6, SLC1A2 GRIN1, GRIN2A, GRIA1, NRG1, ErbB4, DTNBP1, DAAO, G72/30, GRM3). Correspondingly, GABA has been proposed to modulate the pathophysiology of the disease which is represented by the involvement of genes like GABRA1, GABRP, GABRA6 and Reelin. Moreover, several genes implicating immune, signaling and networking deficits have been reported to be involved in the disease, i.e. DISC1, RGS4, PRODH, DGCR6, ZDHHC8, DGCR2, Akt, CREB, IL-1B, IL-1RN, IL-10, IL-1B. However, molecular findings suggest that a complex interplay between receptors, kinases, proteins and hormones is involved in schizophrenia. In a unifying hypothesis, different cascades merge into another that ultimately lead to the development of symptoms adherent to schizophrenic disorders.

Copyright © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel


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 goto top of outline Author Contacts

PD Dr. med. Undine E. Lang
Charité Medicine Berlin
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin (Germany)
Tel. +49 1786241689, E-Mail undine.lang@charite.de


 goto top of outline Article Information

Accepted: September 11, 2007
Number of Print Pages : 16


 goto top of outline Publication Details

Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry (International Journal of Experimental Cellular Physiology, Biochemistry andPharmacology)

Vol. 20, No. 6, Year 2007 (Cover Date: 2007)

Journal Editor: F. Lang, Tübingen
ISSN: 1015–8987 (print), 1421–9778 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/journals/cpb


Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

Abstract

Schizophrenia is a complex disorder, where family, twin and adoption studies have been demonstrating a high heritability of the disease and that this disease is not simply defined by several major genes but rather evolves from addition or potentiation of a specific cluster of genes, which subsequently determines the genetic vulnerability of an individual. Linkage and association studies suggest that a genetic vulnerablility, is not forcefully leading to the disease since triggering factors and environmental influences, i.e. birth complications, drug abuse, urban background or time of birth have been identified. This has lead to the assumption that schizophrenia is not only a genetically defined static disorder but a dynamic process leading to dysregulation of multiple pathways. There are several different hypothesis based on several facets of the disease, some of them due to the relatively well-known mechanisms of therapeutic agents. The most widely considered neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia integrates environmental influences and causative genes. The dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia is based on the fact that all common treatments involve antidopaminergic mechanisms and genes such as DRD2, DRD3, DARPP-32, BDNF or COMT are closely related to dopaminergic system functioning. The glutamatergic hypothesis of schizophrenia lead recently to a first successful mGlu2/3 receptor agonistic drug and is underpinned by significant findings in genes regulating the glutamatergic system (SLC1A6, SLC1A2 GRIN1, GRIN2A, GRIA1, NRG1, ErbB4, DTNBP1, DAAO, G72/30, GRM3). Correspondingly, GABA has been proposed to modulate the pathophysiology of the disease which is represented by the involvement of genes like GABRA1, GABRP, GABRA6 and Reelin. Moreover, several genes implicating immune, signaling and networking deficits have been reported to be involved in the disease, i.e. DISC1, RGS4, PRODH, DGCR6, ZDHHC8, DGCR2, Akt, CREB, IL-1B, IL-1RN, IL-10, IL-1B. However, molecular findings suggest that a complex interplay between receptors, kinases, proteins and hormones is involved in schizophrenia. In a unifying hypothesis, different cascades merge into another that ultimately lead to the development of symptoms adherent to schizophrenic disorders.



 goto top of outline Author Contacts

PD Dr. med. Undine E. Lang
Charité Medicine Berlin
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin (Germany)
Tel. +49 1786241689, E-Mail undine.lang@charite.de


 goto top of outline Article Information

Accepted: September 11, 2007
Number of Print Pages : 16


 goto top of outline Publication Details

Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry (International Journal of Experimental Cellular Physiology, Biochemistry andPharmacology)

Vol. 20, No. 6, Year 2007 (Cover Date: 2007)

Journal Editor: F. Lang, Tübingen
ISSN: 1015–8987 (print), 1421–9778 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/journals/cpb


Copyright / Drug Dosage

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.