Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Psychiatry. 2015 Feb;20(1):126-32. doi: 10.1038/mp.2013.174. Epub 2013 Dec 24.

Autophagy has a key role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

Author information

Adams Super Center for Brain Studies, and Sagol School of Neuroscience, Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
1] Molecular Psychiatry Laboratory, Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia [2] Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
1] Psychiatry Research Unit, Beer-Sheva, Israel [2] Mental Health Center, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
1] Psychiatry Research Unit, Beer-Sheva, Israel [2] Mental Health Center, Beer-Sheva, Israel [3] Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.


Autophagy is a process preserving the balance between synthesis, degradation and recycling of cellular components and is therefore essential for neuronal survival and function. Several key proteins govern the autophagy pathway including beclin1 and microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3). Here, we show a brain-specific reduction in beclin1 expression in postmortem hippocampus of schizophrenia patients, not detected in peripheral lymphocytes. This is in contrast with activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) and ADNP2, which we have previously found to be deregulated in postmortem hippocampal samples from schizophrenia patients, but that now showed a significantly increased expression in lymphocytes from related patients, similar to increases in the anti-apoptotic, beclin1-interacting, Bcl2. The increase in ADNP was associated with the initial stages of the disease, possibly reflecting a compensatory effect. The increase in ADNP2 might be a consequence of neuroleptic treatment, as seen in rats subjected to clozapine treatment. ADNP haploinsufficiency in mice, which results in age-related neuronal death, cognitive and social dysfunction, exhibited reduced hippocampal beclin1 and increased Bcl2 expression (mimicking schizophrenia and normal human aging). At the protein level, ADNP co-immunoprecipitated with LC3B suggesting a direct association with the autophagy process and paving the path to novel targets for drug design.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center