Neurexins are presynaptic neuronal adhesion molecules that interact with postsynaptic neuroligins to form an inter-synaptic complex required for synaptic specification and efficient neurotransmission. Deletions and point mutations in the neurexin 1 (NRXN1) gene are associated with a broad spectrum of neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism, intellectual disability, epilepsy, developmental delay, and schizophrenia. Recently, small nucleotide polymorphisms in NRXN1 have been associated with antipsychotic drug response in patients with schizophrenia. Based on previous suggestive evidence of an impact on clozapine response in patients with schizophrenia, we conducted an association study of NRXN1 polymorphisms (rs12467557 and rs10490162) with antipsychotic treatment response in 54 patients with schizophrenia in a double blind, placebo-controlled NIMH inpatient crossover trial and examined for association with risk for schizophrenia in independent case-control and family-based clinical cohorts. Pharmacogenetic analysis in the placebo controlled trial revealed significant association of rs12467557and rs10490162 with drug response, whereby individuals homozygous for the A allele, at either SNP, showed significant improvement in positive symptoms, general psychopathology, thought disturbance, and negative symptoms, whereas patients carrying the G allele showed no overall response. Although we did not find evidence of the same NRXN1 SNPs being associated with results of the NIMH sponsored CATIE trial, other SNPs showed weakly positive signals. The family and case-control analyses for schizophrenia risk were negative. Our results provide confirmatory evidence of genetically determined differences in drug response in patients with schizophrenia related to NRXN1 variation. Furthermore, these findings potentially implicate NRXN1 in the therapeutic actions of antipsychotic drugs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health