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New evidence for an autoimmune cause of schizophrenia

NCAM1 is produced in green cells (HeLa cells). Treatment from patients with anti-NCAM1 autoantibody responds only to green cells (classified in red). Credit: Department of Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences, TMDU

Schizophrenia is a disorder that affects people’s ability to function, think, and really understand. It is often very difficult to deal with because it has different causes and symptoms. In a study published last month at Cell Medicine Report, Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) have discovered an autoantibody — a protein that produces an immune system to attach to a specific object from the human body, rather than an external object such as a virus or bacteria — inside. some patients with schizophrenia. In particular, they also found that this autoantibody causes behaviors such as schizophrenia and changes in the brain when injected into mice.

When considering the possibility of autoantibodies that may cause schizophrenia, the research team has a specific protein in the heart. Previous studies have shown that genetic adhesion (NCAM1), which helps cells in the brain to communicate with each other through a unique combination known as synapses, may play a role in the development of schizophrenia .

“We decided to find autoantibodies on NCAM1 in the 200 and 200 health care settings. patients with schizophrenia, “says lead author of the study Hiroki Shiwaku.

The research team did not stop there – they wanted to know if these autoantibodies could cause any changes in schizophrenia, so they purified the autoantibodies from other patients and injected them into the brains of rats.

“The results have been impressive,” said Hidehiko Takahashi, senior author. “Although the rats only have these autoantibodies in their brains for a short time, they have undergone changes in their attitudes and behaviors that are similar to what is seen in people with schizophrenia.”

Specifically, mice with patient autoantibodies have misunderstanding and changes in their initial reflex system, which are all seen in some species of schizophrenia. They also do a few synapses as well dendritic spineswhich have a system that is critical to the integration between Brain cellsand suffer from schizophrenia.

Given that schizophrenia may manifest differently among patients and is often resistant to treatment, the results of this study are interesting. If schizophrenia autoantibodies on NCAM1 have been induced in some patients, this will lead to significant improvements in diagnosis and treatment.


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Learn more:
Hiroki Shiwaku et al, Autoantibodies on NCAM1 from patients with schizophrenia cause schizophrenia reactions and changes in synapses in mice, Cell Medicine Report (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.xcrm.2022.100597

Provided by Tokyo Medical University and Dental University

hintBody and brain: New evidence of autoimmune causes of schizophrenia (2022, June 6) retrieved June 6, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-06-body-brain-evidence-autoimmune-schizophrenia. html

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