Expression of oligodendrocyte-associated genes in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of patients with schizophrenia

Shruti N. Mitkus, Thomas M. Hyde, Radhakrishna Vakkalanka, Bhaskar Kolachana, Daniel R. Weinberger, Joel E. Kleinman, Barbara K. Lipska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Prior studies have found decreased mRNA expression of oligodendrocyte-associated genes in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of patients with schizophrenia. However, it is unclear which specific genes are affected and whether the changes occur in the cortical white or grey matter. We assessed the mRNA expression levels of four oligodendrocyte-related genes: myelin-associated basic protein (MOBP), myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG), 2′,3′-cyclic nucleotide 3′-phosphodiesterase (CNP) and oligodendrocyte-lineage transcription factor 2 (OLIG2) in DLPFC white and grey matter using quantitative-PCR (∼ 70 controls and ∼ 30 patients with schizophrenia). We also examined the effects of high-risk polymorphisms in CNP and OLIG2 on mRNA levels of these genes. We found that genetic polymorphisms in CNP (rs2070106) and OLIG2 (rs1059004 and rs9653711), previously associated with schizophrenia, predicted low expression of these genes. Expression of MAG, CNP and OLIG2 did not differ between patients with schizophrenia and controls in the grey or white matter but MOBP mRNA levels were increased in the DLPFC white matter in patients with a history of substance abuse. MOBP and CNP protein in the white matter was not altered. Although previously reported reductions in the expression of myelin-related genes in the DLPFC were not detected, we show that individuals carrying risk-associated alleles in oligodendrocyte-related genes had relatively lower transcript levels. These data illustrate the importance of genetic background in gene expression studies in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • CNP
  • MOBP
  • Myelin
  • OLIG2
  • Oligodendrocytes
  • Postmortem studies
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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