Feature Finding Figure
Reductions in dendritic arbor length and complexity are among the most consistently replicated changes in neuronal structure in post mortem studies of cerebral cortical samples from subjects with schizophrenia; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms have not been identified. This study is the first to identify an alteration in a regulatory protein which is known to promote both dendritic length and arborization in developing neurons, Kalirin-9. We found Kalirin-9 expression to be paradoxically increased in schizophrenia (Figure). We followed up this observation by overexpressing Kalirin-9 in mature primary neuronal cultures, causing reduced dendritic length and complexity. Kalirin-9 overexpression represents a potential mechanism for dendritic changes seen in schizophrenia.
Deo AJ, Cahill ME, Li S, Goldszer I, Henteleff R, VanLeeuwen JE, Rafalovich I, Gao R, Stachowski EK, Sampson AR, Lewis DA, Penzes P, Sweet RA: Increased expression of kalirin-9 in the auditory cortex of schizophrenia subjects: Its role in dendritic pathology. Neurobiol Dis, in press.

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David A. Lewis, M.D. | Department of Psychiatry | University of Pittsburgh
3811 O'Hara Street, Biomedical Science Tower W1654
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213-2593
Phone: (412) 624-3894 - Fax: (412) 624-9910