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      Integrating the Neurodevelopmental and Dopamine Hypotheses of Schizophrenia and the Role of Cortical Excitation-Inhibition Balance

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      Biological Psychiatry
      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          The neurodevelopmental and dopamine hypotheses are leading theories of the pathoetiology of schizophrenia, but they were developed in isolation. However, since they were originally proposed, there have been considerable advances in our understanding of the normal neurodevelopmental refinement of synapses and cortical excitation-inhibition (E/I) balance, as well as preclinical findings on the interrelationship between cortical and subcortical systems and new in vivo imaging and induced pluripotent stem cell evidence for lower synaptic density markers in patients with schizophrenia. Genetic advances show that schizophrenia is associated with variants linked to genes affecting GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and glutamatergic signaling as well as neurodevelopmental processes. Moreover, in vivo studies on the effects of stress, particularly during later development, show that it leads to synaptic elimination. We review these lines of evidence as well as in vivo evidence for altered cortical E/I balance and dopaminergic dysfunction in schizophrenia. We discuss mechanisms through which frontal cortex circuitry may regulate striatal dopamine and consider how frontal E/I imbalance may cause dopaminergic dysregulation to result in psychotic symptoms. This integrated neurodevelopmental and dopamine hypothesis suggests that overpruning of synapses, potentially including glutamatergic inputs onto frontal cortical interneurons, disrupts the E/I balance and thus underlies cognitive and negative symptoms. It could also lead to disinhibition of excitatory projections from the frontal cortex and possibly other regions that regulate mesostriatal dopamine neurons, resulting in dopamine dysregulation and psychotic symptoms. Together, this explains a number of aspects of the epidemiology and clinical presentation of schizophrenia and identifies new targets for treatment and prevention.

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          Journal
          Biological Psychiatry
          Biological Psychiatry
          Elsevier BV
          00063223
          September 2022
          September 2022
          : 92
          : 6
          : 501-513
          Article
          10.1016/j.biopsych.2022.06.017
          36008036
          5bb4de3e-8362-425e-9a2b-c3876cf3304b
          © 2022

          https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

          http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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