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Isoform specific differences in phospholipase C beta 1 expression in the prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia and suicide.


Our previous study demonstrated that phospholipase C beta 1 mRNA was down-regulated in Brodmanns area 46 from subjects with schizophrenia. However, phospholipase C beta 1 protein has also been shown to be lower in Brodmanns area 8 and 9 from teenage suicide subjects, creating a potential confound in interpreting the findings in schizophrenia due to the high suicide rate associated with this disorder. To begin to reconcile and consolidate these findings, in this study, we measured mRNA and protein levels of phospholipase C beta 1 variants a and b in Brodmanns area 46 and Brodmanns area 9 from subjects with schizophrenia, many of whom were suicide completers, and determined the diagnostic specificity of observed findings. Consistent with our previous study, levels of phospholipase C beta 1 a and b mRNA, but not protein, were lower in Brodmanns area 46 from subjects with schizophrenia. In Brodmanns area 9, phospholipase C beta 1a protein levels were lower in subjects with schizophrenia, while phospholipase C beta 1b mRNA was higher and protein was lower in those that had died of suicide. Altered protein levels in Brodmanns area 9 appeared to be diagnostically specific, as we did not detect these changes in subjects with bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder or suicide completers with no diagnosis of mental illness. We further assessed the relationship between phospholipase C beta 1 and levels of muscarinic receptors (CHRMs) that signal through this protein, in both human and Chrm knockout mouse central nervous system tissue, and found no strong relationship between the two. Understanding central nervous system differences in downstream effector pathways in schizophrenia may lead to improved treatment strategies and help to identify those at risk of suicide.

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