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Eur J Pharmacol. 2000 Mar 30;393(1-3):237-42.

Smoking and schizophrenia: abnormal nicotinic receptor expression.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO 80262, USA. sherry.leonard@uchsc.edu

Abstract

Biological and genetic evidence suggests a role for the neuronal nicotinic receptors in the neuropathophysiology of schizophrenia. Nicotine normalizes an auditory evoked potential deficit seen in subjects who suffer from the disease. Nicotinic receptors with both high and low affinity for nicotine are decreased in postmortem brain of schizophrenics compared to control subjects. The chromosomal locus of the human alpha-7 gene (15q14) is linked to the gating deficit with a lod of 5.3, and antagonists of the alpha-7 receptor (alpha-bungarotoxin and methyllycaconitine) induce a loss of gating in rodents. We have cloned the human alpha-7 gene and found it to be partially duplicated proximal to the full-length gene. The duplication is expressed in both the brain and in peripheral blood cells of normal subjects, but is missing in some schizophrenic subjects. The results of these studies suggest the presence of abnormal expression and function of the neuronal nicotinic receptor gene family in schizophrenia.

PMID:
10771019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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