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Aquaporins in schizophrenia


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Aquaporins in schizophrenia

  1. 1. AQUAPORINS IN NEURODEGENERATIVE DISORDERS AND SCHIZOPHRENIAAquaporins are membrane proteins that belong to a family called major intrinsic proteins(MIP) that form pores in the membrane of biological cells through which water circulatesin an organized way. Aquaporins are the plumbing system of the cells and in 2003 PeterAgre from John Hopkins University was awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry for theirdiscovery. Here is an animation about aquaporins: 4 are specific water receptors found in the brain and are supposed to play animportant role in regulating neuronal environment, but why care about them?Apoptosis has been considered to be involved in neurodegenerative disorders andschizophrenia. Water receptors are modulated just before apoptosis occurs. A recentstudy reveals a novel role of aquaporin 4 in the uptake of A-beta amyloid by astrocytes,identifying it as a molecular target for Alzheimer’s disease. Read more at: is a study published this month demonstrating that certain polymorphisms ofaquaporin 4 receptors influence the optimal dose of antipsychotics used in schizophrenia.The study concluded that patients with the AQP-4 non-C polymorphism needed a higherdosage of olanzapine for treatment (z = 4.163, P = 0.041), and patients with a short formof the MAOA polymorphism needed a higher dosage of risperidone for treatment (z =5.124, P = 0.024).This study can be found at: are also involved in neuroinflammation possibly by autoimmunemechanisms. For instance neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is associated with highly specificserum auto-antibodies to aquaporin-4 (termed AQP4-Ab). Recent evidence stronglysuggests that AQP4-Ab are directly involved in the immunopathogenesis of NMO andpossibly multiple sclerosis. Read more Read more at: is even more interesting is that influenza infection in mid-pregnancy results indecreased brain expression of aquaporin 4 receptors. This may explain why maternalexposure to influenza constitutes an increased risk of schizophrenia in offspring: SFERA, MD