Abnormal Expression of Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule in Schizophrenia



Marquis P.

Vawter* and William J. Freed. NIDA Addiction Research Center,

Baltimore, MD

Schizophrenia is a

neuropsychiatric disorder of unclear etiology associated with

subtle changes in brain morphology. The neural cell adhesion

molecule (N-CAM) is involved in diverse morphoregulatory

events and is developmentally expressed in the brain. We have

reported that soluble N-CAM 105-115 kDa is increased in the

hippocampus of patients with schizophrenia above controls and

bipolar disorder. We found increased N-CAM 105-115 kDa also

in the prefrontal cortex of patients with schizophrenia as

compared to controls. Large increases in N-CAM concentration

have also been reported in studies of CSF obtained from long

term patients with schizophrenia. However, CSF samples from

neuroleptic-naïve first episode patients with schizophrenia

demonstrated normal concentrations of N-CAM. First episode

patients that were briefly treated with neuroleptics showed a

decrease in CSF N-CAM concentrations. Further, gender

differences could account for the observed increases in

N-CAM, as male patients show relatively larger N-CAM

concentrations as compared to females. Thus, the variables

that have been shown to modulate human N-CAM 105-115 kDa

concentrations are: diagnosis, gender, and short-term

neuroleptic treatment.