Sex-specific transcriptional and proteomic signatures in schizophrenia

Tiihonen, Jari ORCID: 0000-0002-0400-6798, Koskuvi, Marja, Storvik, Markus, Hyötyläinen, Ida, Gao, Yanyan ORCID: 0000-0003-2427-1633, Puttonen, Katja A, Giniatullina, Raisa, Poguzhelskaya, Ekaterina, Ojansuu, Ikka, Vaurio, Olli, Cannon, Tyrone D, Lönnqvist, Juoko, Therman, Sebastian ORCID: 0000-0001-9407-4905, Suvisaari, Janna ORCID: 0000-0001-7167-0990, Kaprio, Jaakko ORCID: 0000-0002-3716-2455, Cheng, Lesley, Hill, Andrew F ORCID: 0000-0001-5581-2354, Lähteenvuo, Markku ORCID: 0000-0002-7244-145X, Tohka, Jussi ORCID: 0000-0002-1048-5860, Giniatullin, Rashid, Lehtonen, Šárka ORCID: 0000-0002-5055-9414 and Koistinaho, Jari (2019) Sex-specific transcriptional and proteomic signatures in schizophrenia. Nature Communications, 10. ISSN 2041-1723


It has remained unclear why schizophrenia typically manifests after adolescence and which neurobiological mechanisms are underlying the cascade leading to the actual onset of the illness. Here we show that the use of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons of monozygotic twins from pairs discordant for schizophrenia enhances disease-specific signal by minimizing genetic heterogeneity. In proteomic and pathway analyses, clinical illness is associated especially with altered glycosaminoglycan, GABAergic synapse, sialylation, and purine metabolism pathways. Although only 12% of all 19,462 genes are expressed differentially between healthy males and females, up to 61% of the illness-related genes are sex specific. These results on sex-specific genes are replicated in another dataset. This implies that the pathophysiology differs between males and females, and may explain why symptoms appear after adolescence when the expression of many sex-specific genes change, and suggests the need for sex-specific treatments.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1038/s41467-019-11797-3
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3209 Neurosciences
Current > Division/Research > Chancellery
Keywords schizophrenia, neurobiology, sex specific genes, sex specific treatment, DNA sequence variation
Citations in Scopus 21 - View on Scopus
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