Apoptosis and schizophrenia: a pilot study based on dermal fibroblast cell lines

Catts, Vibeke Sorensen, Catts, Stanley Victor, McGrath, John Joseph, Feron, Francois, McLean, Duncan, Coulson, Elizabeth Jane and Lutze-Mann, Louise Helen (2006) Apoptosis and schizophrenia: a pilot study based on dermal fibroblast cell lines. Schizophrenia Research, 84 1: 20-28. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2006.03.016

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Author Catts, Vibeke Sorensen
Catts, Stanley Victor
McGrath, John Joseph
Feron, Francois
McLean, Duncan
Coulson, Elizabeth Jane
Lutze-Mann, Louise Helen
Title Apoptosis and schizophrenia: a pilot study based on dermal fibroblast cell lines
Journal name Schizophrenia Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0920-9964
Publication date 2006-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.schres.2006.03.016
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 84
Issue 1
Start page 20
End page 28
Total pages 9
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 1103 Clinical Sciences
Formatted abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is an increased susceptibility to apoptosis in cultured fibroblasts from patients with schizophrenia.


Dermal fibroblasts were collected and cultured from three groups: patients with schizophrenia, patients with non-schizophrenic psychosis, and healthy comparison subjects. Susceptibility to apoptosis was measured at the level of degradation product (proportion of cells in the sub-G0 cell cycle fraction in which apoptotic bodies accumulate), pro-apoptotic effector (activated caspase-3), and molecular regulators (P53, Bax and Bcl-2). Cell lines were studied under both basal culture and cycloheximide (an apoptotic inducer) exposure conditions.


Consistent with increased susceptibility to apoptosis, the proportion of sub-G0 cells under basal conditions was significantly larger in the schizophrenia group, compared to the non-schizophrenic psychosis group. However when apoptosis was stimulated with cycloheximide, the schizophrenia group showed an attenuated caspase-3 response. The pattern of correlations between regulators, caspase-3 and the proportion of sub-G0 cells was different in the schizophrenia group, consistent with group-specific apoptotic pathway dysregulation.


The study demonstrated anomalous apoptotic mechanisms in schizophrenia, which appear not to affect non-schizophrenia psychosis patients. The detection of these anomalies in fibroblasts suggests that altered apoptosis may be observable in all somatic cell types in schizophrenia.
Keyword Schizophrenia
Bipolar disorder
Cell cycle
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Thu, 13 Apr 2006, 23:03:39 EST