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Roussos P, Katsel P, Davis KL, Bitsios P, Giakoumaki SG, Jogia J, Rozsnyai K, Collier D, Frangou S, Siever LJ, Haroutunian V. Molecular and genetic evidence for abnormalities in the nodes of Ranvier in schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry . 2012 Jan ; 69(1):7-15. PubMed Abstract

Comments on Paper and Primary News
Comment by:  Karoly Mirnics, SRF Advisor
Submitted 13 September 2011 Posted 13 September 2011

This is another good postmortem study from the Haroutunian laboratory. Although the studies are somewhat limited in scope and the conclusions are quite speculative (linking genetic, clinical, and cognitive disturbances to the dysfunction of the node of Ranvier), they are still a breeze of fresh air in schizophrenia research. They offer a new explanation of myelination deficits in schizophrenia, linking it to genetics and disturbed connectivity across the brain regions. We need such new hypotheses, new ideas. Is this one correct? It is certainly plausible, and supported by some data. However, if the past is a predictor of the future, we can be almost certain that the answer will be much more complicated than we think.

View all comments by Karoly Mirnics

Comment by:  Patrick Sullivan, SRF Advisor, Ann Collins
Submitted 21 September 2011 Posted 21 September 2011

Roussos and colleagues conducted a study that, in part, follows up findings from large-scale genetic association studies.

They hypothesized that there is a failure in saltatory conduction in schizophrenia and therefore potential dysfunction in the nodes of Ranvier (NOR) in schizophrenia. To evaluate this hypothesis, they performed microarray transcription analysis on multiple cortical regions in postmortem brain tissue from schizophrenia patients and controls. They selectively analyzed these transcriptome data for changes in genes which play a role in the NOR. They state that they identified dysregulation of genes known to be involved in development, organization, and maintenance of NOR across multiple brain regions. They were able to validate four of the genes using quantitative PCR, and to verify that these genes were not altered in brains of rats treated with haloperidol (i.e., less likely to be an effect of drug treatment).

Given the association of ANK3 in bipolar disorder, some evidence of association in schizophrenia, and the evidence of etiological overlap...  Read more

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