Regional differences in expression of beta-tubulin isoforms in schizophrenia


A growing body of evidence suggests that abnormal elements of the cytoskeleton may be associated with the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Isoforms of a major cytoskeleton protein, beta-tubulin, were recently demonstrated to have distinct roles in neuronal differentiation and cell viability. For these reasons, we tested the hypothesis that there are differences in the expression of beta-tubulin isoforms (betaI-betaIV) in the brain in schizophrenia, using western blot analysis in an elderly group of subjects with this illness and a control group. We found that betaI-tubulin protein expression was decreased in the anterior cingulate cortex and increased in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, but not changed in superior temporal gyrus or hippocampus in schizophrenia. Our data supports the growing body of evidence suggesting abnormalities of the cytoskeleton in schizophrenia.