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Palha JA, Goodman AB. Thyroid hormones and retinoids: A possible link between genes and environment in schizophrenia. Brain Res Brain Res Rev . 2005 Nov 30 ; PubMed Abstract

Comments on Paper and Primary News
Comment by:  Alan Mackay-SimJohn McGrath (SRF Advisor)
Submitted 4 January 2006 Posted 4 January 2006

Goodman has previously outlined the evidence implicating retinoids in the etiology of schizophrenia ( Goodman, 1994; Goodman, 1998), and in the current paper expands the focus to include two other members of the nuclear receptor (NR) superfamily—thyroid hormone and (to a lesser extent) estrogen (Palha and Goodman, 2005). The NR superfamily is a phylogenetically ancient system of ligand-activated transcription factors that contributes to fundamental biological processes in metazoans (i.e., from sponges to humans; Escriva et al., 2004). In humans, the best known NRs include those for steroid hormones (glucocorticoid, sex hormones), the seco-steroid vitamin D, thyroid hormone, and the retinoid (vitamin A) family. Evolution has recycled nuclear receptors many times...  Read more

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Comment by:  Sarah J. BaileyMichelle A. Lane
Submitted 12 January 2006 Posted 12 January 2006

This review article builds on previous papers hypothesizing a role for thyroid hormone and retinoids in the development of schizophrenia (Goodman, 1998). Retinoids are vitamin A related compounds that act on cells to alter gene expression. In early development, neuronal systems are particularly susceptible to regulation by retinoids, and a key role in defining cells as nerves, nerve cell growth, and connectivity is well established (Maden, 2002; McCaffery et al., 2003). Similarly, thyroid hormone exerts its effects by regulating gene expression and is essential for the regulation of metabolism, growth, and differentiation of the brain. Given this central role in neuronal development, and the numerous neurodevelopmental phenomena associated with schizophrenia, it is perhaps not surprising that thyroid hormone and retinoid-signaling pathways have...  Read more

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Comments on Related News
Related News: Potential Biomarkers of First-onset Schizophrenia Found in Cerebrospinal Fluid

Comment by:  Stephen J. Glatt
Submitted 4 December 2006 Posted 4 December 2006
  I recommend the Primary Papers

This paper by Huang, Bahn, and colleagues makes for very interesting reading and provides an early glimpse into the future of proteomic studies of schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Although some interesting new leads have been provided regarding particular proteins and peptides, these will need replication, as the authors themselves acknowledge. Thus, we should not get caught up in those details at this time, but rather appreciate this work for its greater contribution, which is in the modern theoretical framework that drives the study.

First and foremost, it is refreshing to see a focus on a syndrome, such as psychosis, rather than traditional focus on DSM-based diagnostic boundaries. This approach is one that our group has also endorsed in recent years in light of overlapping linkage, association, and gene expression data in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It just makes sense that biomarkers will work best for symptoms or other lower-level traits or states rather than hierarchical diagnoses with questionable validity. In turn, biomarker work performed in this...  Read more

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