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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2006 Sep;114(3):211-5.

Regulation of alpha7-nicotinic receptor subunit and alpha7-like gene expression in the prefrontal cortex of patients with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The alpha7-nicotinic receptor subunit gene (CHRNA7) is located at chromosome 15q13-14, a region previously linked with schizophrenia. Genetic association and mRNA expression studies also implicate CHRNA7 in schizophrenia. The CHRNA7 gene has a partial duplication that constitutes the alpha7-like nicotinic receptor gene (CHRFAM7A). We hypothesized that major psychoses could affect the expression of both CHRNA7 and CHRFAM7A.

METHOD:

CHRNA7 and CHRFAM7A mRNA levels were measured in postmortem prefrontal cortex (donated by the Stanley Foundation) from subjects with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and unaffected controls (n = 35 each).

RESULTS:

The mRNA levels of alpha7 and alpha7-like genes have a positive correlation overall (r = 0.25; P = 0.009), however, there is no significant difference in the expression of CHRNA7 among the three diagnostic groups.

CONCLUSION:

This correlation is driven by the bipolar group (r = 0.43; P = 0.009), and is absent in schizophrenia and unaffected controls, suggesting an alteration in the CHRNA7:CHRFAM7A ratio in bipolar disorder.

PMID:
16889592
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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