The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology

Special Section

Variations in oligodendrocyte-related gene expression across multiple cortical regions: implications for the pathophysiology of schizophrenia

Vahram Haroutunian a1c1, Pavel Katsel a1, Stella Dracheva a1, Daniel G. Stewart a1 and Kenneth L. Davis a1
a1 Department of Psychiatry, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029-6575, USA

Article author query
haroutunian v   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
katsel p   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
dracheva s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
stewart dg   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
davis kl   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


The disconnectivity syndrome hypothesis of schizophrenia suggests that communication between multiple brain circuits and regions may be disrupted. Microarray studies analysed gene expression in 15 different brain regions derived from 13 persons with schizophrenia and controls. The superior temporal gyrus, cingulate gyrus and hippocampus evidence the greatest numbers of abnormally expressed genes. Gene ontology categorization suggested that gene classes associated with oligodendrocytes and myelin function were among the most profoundly affected. qPCR and additional microarray studies have validated these oligodendrocyte- and myelin-associated findings in independent cohorts. At least some of the affected genes are associated with the regulation of axoglial contacts, axon calibre and the integrity of functional elements involved in signal propagation. The confluence of emerging evidence shows that myelination abnormalities are major components of the neurobiology of schizophrenia and suggest that re-evaluation of some long-held hypotheses and beliefs regarding the biological substrates of schizophrenia may be warranted.

(Received June 23 2006)
(Reviewed August 3 2006)
(Revised August 17 2006)
(Accepted August 26 2006)

Key Words: Brain regions; cingulate cortex; gene expression; hippocampus; microarray; post-mortem; schizophrenia; temporal cortex.

c1 Psychiatry, Room 4F-33A, Bronx VA Medical Center, 130 West Kingsbridge Road, Bronx, NY 10468, USA. Tel.: 718-584-9000 (ext. 6082) Fax: 718-365-9622 E-mail: