Glutathione and schizophrenia

Glutathione S-transferase M1 gene deletion may be associated with susceptibility to certain forms of schizophrenia.

Harada S, Tachikawa H, Kawanishi Y.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2001 Feb 23;281(2):267-71.

Institute of Community Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tennodai 1,1,1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8575, Japan.

Recent studies have revealed that GSTM1 and M2 of the mu-class glutathione S-transferases catalyze a glutathione conjugate of catechol o-quinones including dopachrome, noradrenochrome, and adrenochrome under physiological conditions. Reduced or negative levels of activity amongst these enzymes would lead to an excess of neurotoxic compounds of catecholamine o-quinones. A defect in the mechanisms responsible for this form of detoxification may contribute to the development of certain forms of schizophrenia. We have performed a case-control study to explore the association between schizophrenia and polymorphism of the GSTM1 gene. DNA samples were obtained from 87 unrelated patients with schizophrenia who met the DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia and from 176 control subjects. Individuals of both groups were ethnically Japanese and were from the same district. GSTM1 polymorphism was determined using the polymerase chain reaction method. The frequency of the GSTM1*0 allele was significantly higher amongst the patients with schizophrenia compared to controls (P = 0.0075). Moreover, the incidence of the GSTM1*0 was significantly higher amongst the schizophrenic patients classified as disorganized type (P = 0.0008), relative to the control sample. Our findings suggest that the GSTM1*0 is associated with an increased susceptibility to schizophrenia, particularly disorganized type of the disease. It is therefore likely that the GSTM1 gene deletion constitutes to vulnerability for disease states of this kind, rather than being the direct cause of schizophrenic conditions

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