Abnormal activity of the MAPK- and cAMP-associated signaling pathways in frontal cortical areas in postmortem brain in schizophrenia

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Recent evidence suggests that schizophrenia may result from alterations of integration of signaling mediated by multiple neurotransmitter systems. Abnormalities of associated intracellular signaling pathways may contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Proteins and phospho-proteins comprising mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) and 3′-5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-associated signaling pathways may be abnormally expressed in the anterior cingulate (ACC) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in schizophrenia. Using western blot analysis we examined proteins of the MAPK- and cAMP-associated pathways in these two brain regions. Postmortem samples were used from a well-characterized collection of elderly patients with schizophrenia (ACC=36, DLPFC=35) and a comparison (ACC=33, DLPFC=31) group. Near-infrared intensity of IR-dye labeled secondary antisera bound to targeted proteins of the MAPK- and cAMP-associated signaling pathways was measured using LiCor Odyssey imaging system. We found decreased expression of Rap2, JNK1, JNK2, PSD-95, and decreased phosphorylation of JNK1/2 at T183/Y185 and PSD-95 at S295 in the ACC in schizophrenia. In the DLPFC, we found increased expression of Rack1, Fyn, Cdk5, and increased phosphorylation of PSD-95 at S295 and NR2B at Y1336. MAPK- and cAMP-associated molecules constitute ubiquitous intracellular signaling pathways that integrate extracellular stimuli, modify receptor expression and function, and regulate cell survival and neuroplasticity. These data suggest abnormal activity of the MAPK- and cAMP-associated pathways in frontal cortical areas in schizophrenia. These alterations may underlie the hypothesized hypoglutamatergic function in this illness. Together with previous findings, these data suggest that abnormalities of intracellular signaling pathways may contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. © 2012 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Funk AJ; McCullumsmith RE; Haroutunian V; Meador-Woodruff JH
  • Start Page

  • 896
  • End Page

  • 905
  • Volume

  • 37
  • Issue

  • 4