• Transcriptome-wide gene expression in a rat model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms: Rats developmentally exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls

      Sazonova, Nadezhda A.; DasBanerjee, Tania; Middleton, Frank A.; Gowtham, Sriharsha; Schuckers, Stephanie; Faraone, Stephen V. (Wiley, 2011-09-14)
      Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) exposure in rodents provides a useful model for the symptoms of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The goal of this study is to identify genes whose expression levels are altered in response to PCB exposure. The brains from 48 rats separated into two age groups of 24 animals each (4 males and 4 females for each PCB exposure level (control, PCB utero, and PCB lactational)) were harvested at postnatal days 23 and 35, respectively. The RNA was isolated from three brain regions of interest and was analyzed for differences in expression of a set of 27,342 transcripts. Two hundred seventy-nine transcripts showed significant differential expression due to PCB exposure mostly due to the difference between PCB lactational and control groups. The cluster analysis applied to these transcripts revealed that significant changes in gene expression levels in PFC area due to PCB lactational exposure. Our pathway analyses implicated 27 significant canonical pathways and 38 significant functional pathways. Our transcriptomewide analysis of the effects of PCB exposure shows that the expression of many genes is dysregulated by lactational PCB exposure, but not gestational exposure and has highlighted biological pathways that might mediate the effects of PCB exposure on ADHD-like behaviors seen in exposed animals. Our work should further motivate studies of fatty acids in ADHD, and further suggests that another potentially druggable pathway, oxidative stress,may play a role in PCB inducedADHD behaviors
    • Traumatic Brain Injury and Schizophrenia in Members of Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Pedigrees

      Malaspina, Dolores; Goetz, Raymond R.; Friedman, Jill Harkavy; Kaufmann, Charles A.; Faraone, Stephen V.; Tsuang, Ming; Cloninger, C. Robert; Nurnberger, John I.; Blehar, Mary C. (American Psychiatric Association Publishing, 2001-03)
      Objective: Schizophrenia following a traumatic brain injury could be a phenocopy of genetic schizophrenia or the consequence of a gene-environment interaction. Alternatively, traumatic brain injury and schizophrenia could be spuriously associated if those who are predisposed to develop schizophrenia have greater amounts of trauma for other reasons. The authors investigated the relationship between traumatic brain injury and psychiatric diagnoses in a large group of subjects from families with at least two biologically related first-degree relatives with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder. Method: The Diagnostic Interview for Genetic Studies was used to determine history of traumatic brain injury and diagnosis for 1,275 members of multiplex bipolar disorder pedigrees and 565 members of multiplex schizophrenia pedigrees. Results: Rates of traumatic brain injury were significantly higher for those with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression than for those with no mental illness. However, multivariate analysis of within-pedigree data showed that mental illness was related to traumatic brain injury only in the schizophrenia pedigrees. Independent of diagnoses, family members of those with schizophrenia were more likely to have had traumatic brain injury than were members of the bipolar disorder pedigrees. The members of the schizophrenia pedigrees also failed to show the gender difference for traumatic brain injury (more common in men than in women) that was expected and was present in the bipolar disorder pedigrees. Subjects with a schizophrenia diagnosis who were members of the bipolar disorder pedigrees (and thus had less genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia) were less likely to have had traumatic brain injury (4.5%) than were subjects with schizophrenia who were members of the schizophrenia pedigrees (and who had greater genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia) (19.6%). Conclusions: Members of the schizophrenia pedigrees, even those without a schizophrenia diagnosis, had greater exposure to traumatic brain injury compared to members of the bipolar disorder pedigrees. Within the schizophrenia pedigrees, traumatic brain injury was associated with a greater risk of schizophrenia, consistent with synergistic effects between genetic vulnerability for schizophrenia and traumatic brain injury. Posttraumatic-braininjury schizophrenia in multiplex schizophrenia pedigrees does not appear to be a phenocopy of the genetic disorder.
    • Treatment of nonpsychotic relatives of patients with schizophrenia: Six case studies

      Tsuang, Ming T.; Stone, William S.; Tarbox, Sarah I.; Faraone, Stephen V. (Wiley, 2002-11-27)
      There is growing support for the notion that the genetic liability for schizophrenia could be manifested in brain dysfunction, even without the full manifestations of schizophrenia [Meehl, 1962, 1989; Seidman, 1997; Faraone et al., 2001]. This liability is characterized clinically by neurologic, neurobiological, psychiatric, neuropsychological, and psychosocial impairments in nonpsychotic, first-degree relatives of people with schizophrenia and includes eye tracking dysfunction [Levy et al., 1994], allusive thinking [Catts et al., 1993], neurologic signs [Erlenmeyer-Kimling et al., 1982], biochemical abnormalities [Callicott et al., 1998], char acteristic auditory evoked potentials [Friedman and Squires-Wheeler, 1994], neuroimaging assessed brain abnormalities [Seidman et al., 1997], and neuropsycho logical impairment [Kremen et al., 1994]. Paul Meehl introduced the term ‘‘schizotaxia’’ in 1962 to describe the genetic predisposition to schizophrenia [Meehl, 1962], and we have modified the concept to take account of subsequent research [Faraone et al., 2000]. The concept of schizotaxia raises at least three fundamental issues: 1) What is the conceptual basis of schizotaxia? 2) Is it a valid syndrome? and 3) perhaps most importantly from the point of view of the eventual prevention of schizo phrenia, is it treatable? In this paper, we review the model of schizotaxia by focusing first on its nature and extent. We then describe preliminary research criteria for its diagnosis in nonpsychotic relatives of schizo phrenic patients, followed by a presentation of our initial attempts to treat schizotaxia. Finally, prospects for the future focus on the need to validate the proposed syndrome further and on the clinical implications of treating schizotaxia.