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Pharmacogenomics J. 2014 Feb;14(1):63-9. doi: 10.1038/tpj.2013.6. Epub 2013 Mar 26.

Synapsin II gene expression in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of brain specimens from patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: effect of lifetime intake of antipsychotic drugs.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster UniversityHamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Synapsins are neuronal phosphoproteins crucial to regulating the processes required for normal neurotransmitter release. Synapsin II, in particular, has been implied as a candidate gene for schizophrenia. This study investigated synapsin II mRNA expression, using real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR, in coded dorsolateral prefrontal cortical samples provided by the Stanley Foundation Neuropathology Consortium. Synapsin IIa was decreased in patients with schizophrenia when compared with both healthy subjects and patients with bipolar disorder, whereas synapsin IIb was only significantly reduced in patients with schizophrenia when compared with healthy subjects but not in patients with bipolar disorder. Furthermore, lifetime antipsychotic drug use was positively associated with synapsin IIa expression in patients with schizophrenia. Results suggest that impairment of synaptic transmission by synapsin II reduction may contribute to dysregulated convergent molecular mechanisms, which result in aberrant neural circuits that characterize schizophrenia, while implicating involvement of synapsin II in therapeutic mechanisms of currently prescribed antipsychotic drugs.

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