Gene expression analysis reveals schizophrenia-associated dysregulation of immune pathways in peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
Schizophrenia Research Institute, Sydney, NSW, Australia;
Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) represent an accessible tissue source for gene expression profiling in schizophrenia that could provide insight into the molecular basis of the disorder.
This study used the Illumina HT_12 microarray platform and quantitative real time PCR (QPCR) to perform mRNA expression profiling on 114 patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 80 non-psychiatric controls from the Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank (ASRB).
Differential expression analysis revealed altered expression of 164 genes (59 up-regulated and 105 down-regulated) in the PBMCs from patients with schizophrenia compared to controls.
Bioinformatic analysis indicated significant enrichment of differentially expressed genes known to be involved or associated with immune function and regulating the immune response.
The differential expression of 6 genes, EIF2C2 (Ago 2), MEF2D, EVL, PI3, S100A12 and DEFA4 was confirmed by QPCR.
Genome-wide expression analysis of PBMCs from individuals with schizophrenia was characterized by the alteration of genes with immune system function, supporting the hypothesis that the disorder has a significant immunological component in its etiology.