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Front Cell Neurosci. 2018 Sep 3;12:289. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2018.00289. eCollection 2018.

Glioma in Schizophrenia: Is the Risk Higher or Lower?

Gao X1,2, Mi Y1, Guo N1, Xu H1,2, Jiang P1, Zhang R1, Xu L1,2, Gou X1.

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Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Brain Disorders & Institute of Basic Medical Sciences & Institute of Basic and Translational Medicine, Xi'an Medical University, Xi'an, China.
State Key Laboratory of Military Stomatology, Department of Anesthesiology, School of Stomatology, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.


Whether persons with schizophrenia have a higher or lower incidence of cancer has been discussed for a long time. Due to the complex mechanisms and characteristics of different types of cancer, it is difficult to evaluate the exact relationship between cancers and schizophrenia without considering the type of tumor. Schizophrenia, a disabling mental illness that is now recognized as a neurodevelopmental disorder, is more correlated with brain tumors, such as glioma, than other types of tumors. Thus, we mainly focused on the relationship between schizophrenia and glioma morbidity. Glioma tumorigenesis and schizophrenia may share similar mechanisms; gene/pathway disruption would affect neurodevelopment and reduce the risk of glioma. The molecular defects of disrupted-in-schizophrenia-1 (DISC1), P53, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and C-X-C chemokine receptors type 4 (CXCR4) involved in schizophrenia pathogenesis might play opposite roles in glioma development. Many microRNAs (miRNAs) such as miR-183, miR-9, miR-137 and miR-126 expression change may be involved in the cross talk between glioma prevalence and schizophrenia. Finally, antipsychotic drugs may have antitumor effects. All these factors show that persons with schizophrenia have a decreased incidence of glioma; therefore, epidemiological investigation and studies comparing genetic and epigenetic aberrations involved in both of these complex diseases should be performed. These studies can provide more insightful knowledge about glioma and schizophrenia pathophysiology and help to determine the target/strategies for the prevention and treatment of the two diseases.


DISC1; glioma; miRNA; protection; schizophrenia

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