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Open Access Research article

Altered gene expression in the superior temporal gyrus in schizophrenia

Nikola A Bowden123*, Rodney J Scott1234 and Paul A Tooney123

Author Affiliations

1 Neuroscience Institute of Schizophrenia and Allied Disorders, Sydney, NSW, Australia

2 The Brain and Mental Health Research Program of the Hunter Medical Research Institute, John Hunter Hospital, Lookout Rd, New Lambton Heights, NSW Australia

3 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan 2308, Australia

4 Division of Genetics, Hunter Area Pathology Service, John Hunter Hospital, Lookout Rd, New Lambton Heights 2305, Australia

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BMC Genomics 2008, 9:199  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-199

Published: 29 April 2008

Abstract

Background

The superior temporal gyrus (STG), which encompasses the primary auditory cortex, is believed to be a major anatomical substrate for speech, language and communication. The STG connects to the limbic system (hippocampus and amygdala), the thalamus and neocortical association areas in the prefrontal cortex, all of which have been implicated in schizophrenia.

Results

To identify altered mRNA expression in the superior temporal gyrus (STG) in schizophrenia, oligonucleotide microarrays were used with RNA from postmortem STG tissue from 7 individuals with schizophrenia and 7 matched non-psychiatric controls. Overall, there was a trend towards down-regulation in gene expression, and altered expression of genes involved in neurotransmission, neurodevelopment, and presynaptic function was identified. To confirm altered expression identified by microarray analysis, the mRNA expression levels of four genes, IPLA2γ, PIK31R1, Lin-7b and ATBF1, were semi-quantitatively measured using relative real-time PCR. A number of genes with altered expression in the STG were also shown to have similar changes in expression as shown in our previous study of peripheral blood lymphocytes in schizophrenia.

Conclusion

This study has identified altered expression of genes in the STG involved in neurotransmission and neurodevelopment, and to a lesser extent presynaptic function, which further support the notion of these functions playing an integral role in the development of schizophrenia.