Transcriptomic Immaturity, Inducible by Neural Hyperexcitation, Is Shared by Multiple Neuropsychiatric Disorders, Including Schizophrenia, Alzheimer Disorders, and ALS; Gene Expression Patterns for Synaptic Function & Chromosomal Modification ID’d

Two gene expression patterns—decreases in maturity markers and increases in immaturity markers—have been found by a group that noted the need for biomarkers to improve diagnosis of neuropsychiatric disorders, which are often associated with excitatory/inhibitory imbalances in neural transmission and abnormal maturation. The researchers, from Fujita Health University and Astellis Pharma in Japan, and Astellis Research Institute of America in San Diego, characterized different disease conditions by mapping changes in the expression patterns of maturation-related genes whose expression had been altered by experimental neural hyperexcitation in published studies. The scientists found that genes for maturity markers were characterized over-representation of genes related to synaptic function, while the genes for immaturity markers were characterized by over-representation of genes related to chromosomal modification. The research team used these two groups of biomarker genes (maturity & immaturity markers) in a transdiagnostic analysis of 87 disease datasets for eight neuropsychiatric disorders and 12 datasets from corresponding animal models. The scientists found that transcriptomic pseudoimmaturity, inducible by neural hyperexcitation, is shared by multiple neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer disorders, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease). The research said that “our results indicate that this endophenotype serves as a basis for the transdiagnostic characterization of these disorders.” The new work was reported in article published online on January 22, 2019 in Communications Biology. The open-access article is titled “Transcriptomic Immaturity Inducible by Neural Hyperexcitation Is Shared by Multiple Neuropsychiatric Disorders.”
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