, Volume 213, Issue 1-2, pp 255-271
Date: 10 May 2008

Age-related changes in the expression of schizophrenia susceptibility genes in the human prefrontal cortex

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Abstract

The molecular basis of complex neuropsychiatric disorders most likely involves many genes. In recent years, specific genetic variations influencing risk for schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders have been reported. We have used custom DNA microarrays and qPCR to investigate the expression of putative schizophrenia susceptibility genes and related genes of interest in the normal human brain. Expression of 31 genes was measured in Brodmann’s area 10 (BA10) in the prefrontal cortex of 72 postmortem brain samples spanning half a century of human aging (18–67 years), each without history of neuropsychiatric illness, neurological disease, or drug abuse. Examination of expression across age allowed the identification of genes whose expression patterns correlate with age, as well as genes that share common expression patterns and that possibly participate in common cellular mechanisms related to the emergence of schizophrenia in early adult life. The expression of GRM3 and RGS4 decreased across the entire age range surveyed, while that of PRODH and DARPP-32 was shown to increase with age. NRG1, ERBB3, and NGFR show expression changes during the years of greatest risk for the development of schizophrenia. Expression of FEZ1, GAD1, and RGS4 showed especially high correlation with one another, in addition to the strongest mean levels of absolute correlation with all other genes studied here. All microarray data are available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo/ (accession #: TBA).

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00429-008-0188-y