Translational Psychiatry
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Updated Thursday, 28 October 2021

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Bjorn Burgher ◽  
Genevieve Whybird ◽  
Nikitas Koussis ◽  
James G. Scott ◽  
Luca Cocchi ◽  
...  

AbstractExecutive dysfunctions in early psychosis (EP) are subtle but persistent, hindering recovery. We asked whether changes in the cognitive control system (CCS) disrupt the response to increased cognitive load in persons with EP. In all, 30 EP and 30 control participants undertook multimodal MRI. Computational models of structural and effective connectivity amongst regions in the CCS were informed by cortical responses to the multi-source interference task, a paradigm that selectively introduces stimulus conflict. EP participants showed greater activation of CCS regions, including the superior parietal cortex, and were disproportionately slower at resolving stimulus conflict in the task. Computational models of the effective connectivity underlying this behavioral response suggest that the normative (control) group resolved stimulus conflict through an efficient and direct modulation of gain between the visual cortex and the anterior insula (AI). In contrast, the EP group utilized an indirect path, with parallel and multi-region hops to resolve stimulus conflict at the AI. Individual differences in task performance were dependent on initial linear gain modulations in the EP group versus a single nonlinear modulation in the control group. Effective connectivity in the EP group was associated with reduced structural integration amongst those connections critical for task execution. CCS engagement during stimulus conflict is hampered in EP owing to inefficient use of higher-order network interactions, with high tonic gain impeding task-relevant (phasic) signal amplification.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Kana Yamamoto ◽  
Toshihiko Kuriu ◽  
Kensuke Matsumura ◽  
Kazuki Nagayasu ◽  
Yoshinori Tsurusaki ◽  
...  

AbstractAn increasing body of evidence suggests that impaired synapse development and function are associated with schizophrenia; however, the underlying molecular pathophysiological mechanism of the disease remains largely unclear. We conducted a family-based study combined with molecular and cellular analysis using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology. We generated iPSCs from patients with familial schizophrenia, differentiated these cells into neurons, and investigated the molecular and cellular phenotypes of the patient’s neurons. We identified multiple altered synaptic functions, including increased glutamatergic synaptic transmission, higher synaptic density, and altered splicing of dopamine D2 receptor mRNA in iPSC-derived neurons from patients. We also identified patients’ specific genetic mutations using whole-exome sequencing. Our findings support the notion that altered synaptic function may underlie the molecular and cellular pathophysiology of schizophrenia, and that multiple genetic factors cooperatively contribute to the development of schizophrenia.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
C. Gaillard ◽  
T. R. Lago ◽  
A. X. Gorka ◽  
N. L. Balderston ◽  
B. A. Fuchs ◽  
...  

AbstractWhile a large body of literature documents the impairing effect of anxiety on cognition, performing a demanding task was shown to be effective in reducing anxiety. Here we explored the mechanisms of this anxiolytic effect by examining how a pharmacological challenge designed to improve attentional processes influences the interplay between the neural networks engaged during anxiety and cognition. Using a double-blind between-subject design, we pharmacologically manipulated working memory (WM) using a single oral dose of 20 mg methylphenidate (MPH, cognitive enhancer) or placebo. Fifty healthy adults (25/drug group) performed two runs of a WM N-back task in a 3 T magnetic resonance imaging scanner. This task comprised a low (1-Back) and high (3-Back) WM load, which were performed in two contexts, safety or threat of shocks (induced-anxiety). Analyses revealed that (1) WM accuracy was overall improved by MPH and (2) MPH (vs. placebo) strengthened the engagement of regions within the fronto-parietal control network (FPCN) and reduced the default mode network (DMN) deactivation. These MPH effects predominated in the most difficult context, i.e., threat condition, first run (novelty of the task), and 3-Back task. The facilitation of neural activation can be interpreted as an expansion of cognitive resources, which could foster both the representation and integration of anxiety-provoking stimuli as well as the top–down regulatory processes to protect against the detrimental effect of anxiety. This mechanism might establish an optimal balance between FPCN (cognitive processing) and DMN (emotion regulation) recruitment.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Valeria Kebets ◽  
Pauline Favre ◽  
Josselin Houenou ◽  
Mircea Polosan ◽  
Nader Perroud ◽  
...  

AbstractEmotion dysregulation is central to the development and maintenance of psychopathology, and is common across many psychiatric disorders. Neurobiological models of emotion dysregulation involve the fronto-limbic brain network, including in particular the amygdala and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Neural variability has recently been suggested as an index of cognitive flexibility. We hypothesized that within-subject neural variability in the fronto-limbic network would be related to inter-individual variation in emotion dysregulation in the context of low affective control. In a multi-site cohort (N = 166, 93 females) of healthy individuals and individuals with emotional dysregulation (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder (BD), and borderline personality disorder (BPD)), we applied partial least squares (PLS), a multivariate data-driven technique, to derive latent components yielding maximal covariance between blood-oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal variability at rest and emotion dysregulation, as expressed by affective lability, depression and mania scores. PLS revealed one significant latent component (r = 0.62, p = 0.044), whereby greater emotion dysregulation was associated with increased neural variability in the amygdala, hippocampus, ventromedial, dorsomedial and dorsolateral PFC, insula and motor cortex, and decreased neural variability in occipital regions. This spatial pattern bears a striking resemblance to the fronto-limbic network, which is thought to subserve emotion regulation, and is impaired in individuals with ADHD, BD, and BPD. Our work supports emotion dysregulation as a transdiagnostic dimension with neurobiological underpinnings that transcend diagnostic boundaries, and adds evidence to neural variability being a relevant proxy of neural efficiency.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Ziyi Wang ◽  
Jiaye Liu ◽  
Huan Shuai ◽  
Zhongxiang Cai ◽  
Xia Fu ◽  
...  

AbstractPostpartum depression (PPD) is the most common psychological condition following childbirth, and may have a detrimental effect on the social and cognitive health of spouses, infants, and children. The aim of this study was to complete a comprehensive overview of the current literature on the global epidemiology of PPD. A total of 565 studies from 80 different countries or regions were included in the final analysis. Postpartum depression was found in 17.22% (95% CI 16.00–18.51) of the world’s population. Meta-regression analysis showed that study size, country or region development, and country or region income were the causes of heterogeneity. Multivariable meta-regression analysis found that study size and country or area development were the most important predictors. Varied prevalence rates were noted in geographic regions with the highest rate found in Southern Africa (39.96%). Of interested was a significantly lower rate of PPD in developed countries or high-income countries or areas. Furthermore, the findings showed that there was a substantial difference in rates of PPD when marital status, educational level, social support, spouse care, violence, gestational age, breast feeding, child mortality, pregnancy plan, financial difficulties, partnership, life stress, smoking, alcohol intake, and living conditions were considered in the pooled estimates. Our results indicated that one out of every five women experiences PPD which is linked to income and geographic development. It is triggered by a variety of causes that necessitate the attention and committed intervention of primary care providers, clinicians, health authorities, and the general population.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Jun Xiang ◽  
Feng Yang ◽  
Wen Zhu ◽  
Min Cai ◽  
Xiang-Ting Li ◽  
...  

AbstractThe pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) involves multiple cell types including endothelial cells, glia, and neurons. It suggests that therapy against single target in single cell type may not be sufficient to treat AD and therapies with protective effects in multiple cell types may be more effective. Here, we comprehensively investigated the effects of bilobalide on neuroinflammation and Aβ degrading enzymes in AD cell model and mouse model. We find that bilobalide inhibits Aβ-induced and STAT3-dependent expression of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 in primary astrocyte culture. Bilobalide also induces robust expression of Aβ degrading enzymes like NEP, IDE, and MMP2 to facilitate astrocyte-mediated Aβ clearance. Moreover, bilobalide treatment of astrocyte rescues neuronal deficiency in co-cultured APP/PS1 neurons. Most importantly, bilobalide reduces amyloid and inflammation in AD mouse brain. Taken together, the protective effects of bilobalide in in vitro cultures were fully recapitulated in in vivo AD mouse model. Our study supports that bilobalide has therapeutic potential for AD treatment.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Michael Notaras ◽  
Aiman Lodhi ◽  
Haoyun Fang ◽  
David Greening ◽  
Dilek Colak

AbstractSchizophrenia (Scz) is a brain disorder that has a typical onset in early adulthood but otherwise maintains unknown disease origins. Unfortunately, little progress has been made in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopment of Scz due to ethical and technical limitations in accessing developing human brain tissue. To overcome this challenge, we have previously utilized patient-derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) to generate self-developing, self-maturating, and self-organizing 3D brain-like tissue known as cerebral organoids. As a continuation of this prior work, here we provide an architectural map of the developing Scz organoid proteome. Utilizing iPSCs from n = 25 human donors (n = 8 healthy Ctrl donors, and n = 17 Scz patients), we generated 3D cerebral organoids, employed 16-plex isobaric sample-barcoding chemistry, and simultaneously subjected samples to comprehensive high-throughput liquid-chromatography/mass-spectrometry (LC/MS) quantitative proteomics. Of 3,705 proteins identified by high-throughput proteomic profiling, we identified that just ~2.62% of the organoid global proteomic landscape was differentially regulated in Scz organoids. In sum, just 43 proteins were up-regulated and 54 were down-regulated in Scz patient-derived organoids. Notably, a range of neuronal factors were depleted in Scz organoids (e.g., MAP2, TUBB3, SV2A, GAP43, CRABP1, NCAM1 etc.). Based on global enrichment analysis, alterations in key pathways that regulate nervous system development (e.g., axonogenesis, axon development, axon guidance, morphogenesis pathways regulating neuronal differentiation, as well as substantia nigra development) were perturbed in Scz patient-derived organoids. We also identified prominent alterations in two novel GWAS factors, Pleiotrophin (PTN) and Podocalyxin (PODXL), in Scz organoids. In sum, this work serves as both a report and a resource that researchers can leverage to compare, contrast, or orthogonally validate Scz factors and pathways identified in observational clinical studies and other model systems.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Chan Wu ◽  
Danfeng Wang ◽  
Kangkang Niu ◽  
Qili Feng ◽  
Hanwei Chen ◽  
...  

AbstractThe etiology of major depressive disorder (MDD) involves many factors such as heredity and environment. There are very few MDD-related studies in Chinese population using twin or sib-pairs for depression-control samples. Here we used the microarray approach and compared gene expression profiling of peripheral blood lymphocytes from 6 sib-pairs discordant on lifetime history of MDD. Within sib-pair differentially expressed genes are obvious fewer in the 1st, 2nd, and 5th compared with those in the 3rd, 4th, and 6th sib-pairs. Gene expression pattern of these DEGs distinguished MDD individuals from the normal one in 3rd, 4th, and 6th sib-pair but not in the 1st, 2nd, and 5th pair, suggesting heterogeneity of different sib-pairs and somewhat commonalities among the 3rd, 4th, and 6th sib-pairs. Comprehensive protein interaction network analysis revealed two key genes PTH and FGF2 in a dominant network where the majority of the genes were significantly down-regulated. PTH was significantly down-regulated in all the sib-pairs while FGF2 was in the 3rd, 4th, and 6th sib-pairs. KEGG enrichment analysis of all the DEGs in networks showed that PTH and related genes were significantly enriched in the pathway of parathyroid hormone secretion, synthesis, and action while FGF2 and related genes were significantly enriched in the pathways of cancer and specifically breast cancer. Generally reduced expression of these genes in peripheral blood lymphocytes of MDD individuals implied their functional repression associated with MDD. Pending validation in more samples, the findings in this study provided valuable cues for understanding the potential mechanism of MDD, as well as potential markers for the diagnosis and treatment of depression in the Chinese population.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
P. Gassó ◽  
N. Rodríguez ◽  
A. Martínez-Pinteño ◽  
G. Mezquida ◽  
M. Ribeiro ◽  
...  

AbstractLittle is known about the pathophysiological mechanisms of relapse in first-episode schizophrenia, which limits the study of potential biomarkers. To explore relapse mechanisms and identify potential biomarkers for relapse prediction, we analyzed gene expression in peripheral blood in a cohort of first-episode schizophrenia patients with less than 5 years of evolution who had been evaluated over a 3-year follow-up period. A total of 91 participants of the 2EPs project formed the sample for baseline gene expression analysis. Of these, 67 provided biological samples at follow-up (36 after 3 years and 31 at relapse). Gene expression was assessed using the Clariom S Human Array. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis was applied to identify modules of co-expressed genes and to analyze their preservation after 3 years of follow-up or at relapse. Among the 25 modules identified, one module was semi-conserved at relapse (DarkTurquoise) and was enriched with risk genes for schizophrenia, showing a dysregulation of the TCF4 gene network in the module. Two modules were semi-conserved both at relapse and after 3 years of follow-up (DarkRed and DarkGrey) and were found to be biologically associated with protein modification and protein location processes. Higher expression of DarkRed genes was associated with higher risk of suffering a relapse and early appearance of relapse (p = 0.045). Our findings suggest that a dysregulation of the TCF4 network could be an important step in the biological process that leads to relapse and suggest that genes related to the ubiquitin proteosome system could be potential biomarkers of relapse.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Lin Sun ◽  
Wei Li ◽  
Guanjun Li ◽  
Shifu Xiao ◽  

AbstractThe purpose of this study is to investigate the complex connection between apathy and cognitive decline that remains unclear. A total of 1057 non-dementia elderly from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database received up to 13 years of follow-up and were divided into an apathy negative (−) group of 943 participants and an apathy positive (+) group of 114 participants through the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI)-apathy subitem. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) AD biomarkers and amyloid β (Aβ) PET were measured, and their longitudinal changes were assessed using linear mixed-effects models. Risk factors for cognitive decline and apathy conversion were explored through the Cox proportional hazards model. Mediation effects of Aβ pathology on cognition were investigated using the causal mediation analysis. Apathy syndrome was associated with faster impairment of cognition and elevation of the Aβ burden. The effects of apathy on cognitive function and life quality were mediated by Aβ pathology, including CSF Aβ42/total tau ratio, and Aβ deposition in the prefrontal regions. Apathy syndrome was the risk factor for cognitive deterioration; meanwhile, frontal Aβ burden was the risk factor for apathy conversion. Apathy syndrome is an early manifestation of cognitive decline and there are bidirectional roles between apathy syndrome and Aβ pathology. Prefrontal Aβ pathology influenced the pathway from apathy to cognitive decline.


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