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Sex differences in GABAergic gene expressions occur in the anterior cingulate cortex in schizophrenia.

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journal contribution
posted on 30.08.2017, 00:00 by GC Bristow, JA Bostrom, V. Haroutunian, MS Sodhi
GABAergic dysfunction has been strongly implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. In this study, we analyzed the expression levels of several GABAergic genes in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) of postmortem subjects with schizophrenia (n = 21) and a comparison group of individuals without a history of psychiatric illness (n = 18). Our analyses revealed a significant sex by diagnosis effect, along with significant differences in GABAergic gene expression based on medication status. Analyses revealed that in male groups, the expression of GABAergic genes was generally lower in schizophrenia cases compared to the controls, with significantly lower expression levels of GABA-Aα5, GABA-Aβ1, and GABA-Aε. In females, the expression of GABAergic genes was higher in the schizophrenia cases, with significantly higher expression of the GABA-Aβ1 and GAD67 genes. Analysis of the effect of medication in the schizophrenia subjects revealed significantly higher expression of GABA-Aα1-3, GABA-Aβ2, GABA-Aγ2, and GAD67 in the medicated group compared to the unmedicated group. These data show that sex differences in the expression of GABAergic genes occur in the ACC in schizophrenia. Therefore, our data support previous findings of GABAergic dysfunction in schizophrenia and emphasize the importance of considering sex in analyses of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Sex differences in the GABAergic regulation of ACC function may contribute to the differences observed in the symptoms of male and female patients with schizophrenia. In addition, our findings indicate that antipsychotic medications may alter GABAergic signaling in the ACC, supporting the potential of GABAergic targets for the development of novel antipsychotic medication.

Funding

This work was funded by the UIC Collaborative Engagement in Novel Therapeutic Research and Enterprise award to MS, and NIH R01 awards MH066392 and MH064673 to VH.

History

Publisher Statement

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Schizophrenia Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Schizophrenia Research, DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2015.01.025

Publisher

Elsevier Inc.

issn

0920-9964

Issue date

01/01/2015

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