20 de abril de 2012

Altered T-Cell Function in Schizophrenia: A Cellular Model to Investigate Molecular Disease Mechanisms



Rachel M. Craddock1, Helen E. Lockstone1, David A. Rider2, Matthew T. Wayland1, Laura J.W. Harris1, Peter J. McKenna3, Sabine Bahn1* 1 Institute of Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2 Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Proteos, Singapore, 3 Fulbourn Hospital, Cambridge, United Kingdom


Despite decades of research into the a etiology and pathophysiology of schizophrenia, our understanding of this devastating disorder remains incomplete, with adverse consequences for both diagnosis and treatment. Here we investigate whether differences between patients and controls can be observed in peripheral patient tissue, with a view of establishing a means for dynamic investigations into cell function. In vitro stimulation of peripheral blood CD3+ pan T cells with anti-CD3 (clone OKT3) was used to investigate disease-associated cell responses. T cells from both medicated (n = 39), unmedicated (n = 6) and minimally medicated (n = 5) schizophrenia patients were found to have significantly lower proliferative responses to stimulation, compared to well-matched controls (n = 32). Expression of CD3 and TCR (T cell receptor) αβ chains was equivalent between patients and controls, ensuring equal stimulation with anti-CD3, and there was no significant difference in the proportions of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells between samples (n = 12). Lower T cell proliferation in schizophrenia patients was not found to result from deficient early tyrosine phosphorylation signalling or lower IL-2 (interleukin-2) production, as these parameters were similar between patients and controls, as was the expression of CD25, the IL-2 receptor α chain. Analysis of CD45 isoforms, however, revealed that patients had a significantly greater percentage of CD8+ and CD4+ CD45RA+ cells before stimulation and significantly higher fluorescence intensity of CD45RA on CD4+ and CD8+ cells before and after stimulation. There was significantly higher expression of CD45 RB on both CD4+ and CD8+ unstimulated cells, with a trend towards lower numbers of CD45RO+ T cells in patient blood. Gene expression analysis in freshly isolated T cells from six minimally treated or first onset patients and six controls was carried out using human whole-genome CodeLink microarrays to identify functional pathways that may affect the ability of patient cells to respond to stimulation. Functional profiling showed prominent transcript changes in categories pertaining to cell cycle machinery, intracellular signalling, oxidative stress and metabolism. Intriguingly, chromosomal location analysis of genes significantly altered between schizophrenia and controls revealed clusters at 1p36, 1q42 and 6p22, which have previously been identified as strong susceptibility loci for schizophrenia.