CNS neuroscience & therapeutics

Genomics and pharmacogenomics of schizophrenia.

PMID 20718829


Schizophrenia (SCZ) is among the most disabling of mental disorders. Several neurobiological hypotheses have been postulated as responsible for SCZ pathogenesis: polygenic/multifactorial genomic defects, intrauterine and perinatal environment-genome interactions, neurodevelopmental defects, dopaminergic, cholinergic, serotonergic, gamma-aminobutiric acid (GABAergic), neuropeptidergic and glutamatergic/N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) dysfunctions, seasonal infection, neuroimmune dysfunction, and epigenetic dysregulation. SCZ has a heritability estimated at 60-90%. Genetic studies in SCZ have revealed the presence of chromosome anomalies, copy number variants, multiple single-nucleotide polymorphisms of susceptibility distributed across the human genome, aberrant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in microRNA genes, mitochondrial DNA mutations, and epigenetic phenomena. Pharmacogenetic studies of psychotropic drug response have focused on determining the relationship between variation in specific candidate genes and the positive and adverse effects of drug treatment. Approximately, 18% of neuroleptics are major substrates of CYP1A2 enzymes, 40% of CYP2D6, and 23% of CYP3A4; 24% of antidepressants are major substrates of CYP1A2 enzymes, 5% of CYP2B6, 38% of CYP2C19, 85% of CYP2D6, and 38% of CYP3A4; 7% of benzodiazepines are major substrates of CYP2C19 enzymes, 20% of CYP2D6, and 95% of CYP3A4. About 10-20% of Western populations are defective in genes of the CYP superfamily. Only 26% of Southern Europeans are pure extensive metabolizers for the trigenic cluster integrated by the CYP2D6+CYP2C19+CYP2C9 genes. The pharmacogenomic response of SCZ patients to conventional psychotropic drugs also depends on genetic variants associated with SCZ-related genes. Consequently, the incorporation of pharmacogenomic procedures both to drugs in development and drugs on the market would help to optimize therapeutics in SCZ and other central nervous system (CNS) disorders.