Schizophrenia: glutathione deficit as a new vulnerability factor for disconnectivity syndrome


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Schizophrenia: glutathione deficit as a new vulnerability factor for disconnectivity syndrome
Schweizer Archiv für Neurologie und Psychiatrie = Archives suisses de neurologie et de psychiatrie
Do Kim Quang, Bovet Pierre, Cuénod Michel
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AN - Peer Reviewed Journal: 2005-02045-003 MA - Do [Kim Q.: LG - English Journal Article PT - Peer Reviewed Journal RF - Andreasen, N. C. (2000). Schizophrenia: the fundamental questions. Brain Res Brain Res Rev 2000; 31: 106-12 Institution : Centre for Psychiatric Neuroscience, CHUV, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland Department of Adult Psychiatry, CHUV, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland Centre for Psychiatric Neuroscience, CHUV, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland SAPHIRID:48102
(from the journal abstract) Schizophrenia, a major psychiatric disease, affects individuals in the centre of their personality. Its aetiology is not clearly established. In this review, we will present evidence that patients suffering of schizophrenia present a brain deficit in glutathione, a major endogenous redox regulator and antioxidant. We will also show that, in experimental models, a decrease in glutathione, particularly during development, induces morphological, electrophysiological and behavioural anomalies consistent with those observed in the disease. In the cerebrospinal fluid of drug-naive schizophrenics, glutathione level was decreased by 27% and its direct metabolite of glutathione by 16%. Glutathione level in prefrontal cortex of patients, measured by magnetic resonance spectroscopy, was 52% lower than in controls. Patients' fibroblasts reveal a decrease in mRNA levels of the two glutathione synthesising enzymes, glutamatecysteine ligase modulatory subunit (GCLM) and glutathione synthetase. GCLM expression level in fibroblasts correlates negatively with symptoms severity. Glutathione is an important endogenous redox regulator and neuroactive substance. It is protecting cells from damage by reactive oxygen species generated, among others, by dopamine metabolism. A glutathione deficit-induced oxidative stress would lead to lipid peroxidation and micro-lesions at the level of dendritic spines, a synaptic damage responsible for abnormal nervous connections or structural disconnectivity. On the other hand, a glutathione deficit could also lead to a functional disconnectivity by depressing NMDA neurotransmission, in analogy to phencyclidine effects. Present experimental data are consistent with the proposed hypothesis: decreasing pharmacologically glutathione level in experimental models, with or without blocking dopamine (DA) uptake (GBR12909), induces morphological, electrophysiological and behavioural changes similar to those observed in patients. In summary, a deficit of glutathione and/or glutathione-related enzymes during early development would lead to both a functional and a structural disconnectivity, which could be at the basis of some perceptive, cognitive and behavioural troubles of the disease. It could constitute a major vulnerability factor for schizophrenia. Attempts to restore physiological glutathione functions could open new therapeutic avenues. This translational research, made possible by a close interaction between clinicians and neuroscientists, should also pave the way to the identification of biological markers for schizophrenia. In turn, they should allow early diagnostic and hopefully preventive intervention to this devastating disease. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)
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