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      Neuroplasticity signaling pathways linked to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

      Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews

      Animals, physiology, Signal Transduction, physiopathology, Schizophrenia, Neuronal Plasticity, metabolism, genetics, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Humans, Gene Expression Regulation

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          Abstract

          Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that afflicts nearly 1% of the world's population. One of the cardinal pathological features of schizophrenia is perturbation in synaptic connectivity. Although the etiology of schizophrenia is unknown, it appears to be a developmental disorder involving the interaction of a potentially large number of risk genes, with no one gene producing a strong effect except rare, highly penetrant copy number variants. The purpose of this review is to detail how putative schizophrenia risk genes (DISC-1, neuregulin/ErbB4, dysbindin, Akt1, BDNF, and the NMDA receptor) are involved in regulating neuroplasticity and how alterations in their expression may contribute to the disconnectivity observed in schizophrenia. Moreover, this review highlights how many of these risk genes converge to regulate common neurotransmitter systems and signaling pathways. Future studies aimed at elucidating the functions of these risk genes will provide new insights into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and will likely lead to the nomination of novel therapeutic targets for restoring proper synaptic connectivity in the brain in schizophrenia and related disorders. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          20951727
          3005823
          10.1016/j.neubiorev.2010.10.005

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