7T Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, Glutamate, and Glutamine Reveals Altered Concentrations in Patients With Schizophrenia and Healthy Siblings

Katharine N. Thakkar, Lara Rösler, Jannie P. Wijnen, Vincent O. Boer, Dennis W.J. Klomp, Wiepke Cahn, René S. Kahn, Sebastiaan F.W. Neggers

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

    • 4 Citations

    Abstract

    Background The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor hypofunction model of schizophrenia predicts dysfunction in both glutamatergic and gamma-aminobutyric acidergic (GABAergic) transmission. We addressed this hypothesis by measuring GABA, glutamate, glutamine, and the sum of glutamine plus glutamate concentrations in vivo in patients with schizophrenia using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 7T, which allows separation of metabolites that would otherwise overlap at lower field strengths. In addition, we investigated whether altered levels of GABA, glutamate, glutamine, and the sum of glutamine plus glutamate reflect genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia by including healthy first-degree relatives. Methods Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 7T was performed in 21 patients with chronic schizophrenia who were taking medication, 23 healthy first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia, and 24 healthy nonrelatives. Glutamate, glutamine, and GABA were measured cortically and subcortically in bilateral basal ganglia and occipital cortex. Results Patients with schizophrenia had reduced cortical GABA compared with healthy relatives and the combined sample of healthy relatives and healthy nonrelatives, suggesting that altered GABAergic systems in schizophrenia are associated with either disease state or medication effects. Reduced cortical glutamine relative to healthy control subjects was observed in patients with schizophrenia and the combined sample of healthy relatives and patients with schizophrenia, suggesting that altered glutamatergic metabolite levels are associated with illness liability. No group differences were found in the basal ganglia. Conclusions Taken together, these findings are consistent with alterations in GABAergic and glutamatergic systems in patients with schizophrenia and provide novel insights into these systems in healthy relatives.

    LanguageEnglish (US)
    Pages525-535
    Number of pages11
    JournalBiological Psychiatry
    Volume81
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Mar 15 2017

    Profile

    Glutamine
    gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
    Siblings
    Glutamic Acid
    Schizophrenia
    Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
    Basal Ganglia
    Occipital Lobe
    N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptors
    Healthy Volunteers

    Keywords

    • First-degree relatives
    • GABA
    • Glutamate
    • Glutamine
    • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
    • Schizophrenia

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biological Psychiatry

    Cite this

    7T Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, Glutamate, and Glutamine Reveals Altered Concentrations in Patients With Schizophrenia and Healthy Siblings. / Thakkar, Katharine N.; Rösler, Lara; Wijnen, Jannie P.; Boer, Vincent O.; Klomp, Dennis W.J.; Cahn, Wiepke; Kahn, René S.; Neggers, Sebastiaan F.W.

    In: Biological Psychiatry, Vol. 81, No. 6, 15.03.2017, p. 525-535.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

    Thakkar, Katharine N. ; Rösler, Lara ; Wijnen, Jannie P. ; Boer, Vincent O. ; Klomp, Dennis W.J. ; Cahn, Wiepke ; Kahn, René S. ; Neggers, Sebastiaan F.W./ 7T Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, Glutamate, and Glutamine Reveals Altered Concentrations in Patients With Schizophrenia and Healthy Siblings. In: Biological Psychiatry. 2017 ; Vol. 81, No. 6. pp. 525-535
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    abstract = "Background The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor hypofunction model of schizophrenia predicts dysfunction in both glutamatergic and gamma-aminobutyric acidergic (GABAergic) transmission. We addressed this hypothesis by measuring GABA, glutamate, glutamine, and the sum of glutamine plus glutamate concentrations in vivo in patients with schizophrenia using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 7T, which allows separation of metabolites that would otherwise overlap at lower field strengths. In addition, we investigated whether altered levels of GABA, glutamate, glutamine, and the sum of glutamine plus glutamate reflect genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia by including healthy first-degree relatives. Methods Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 7T was performed in 21 patients with chronic schizophrenia who were taking medication, 23 healthy first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia, and 24 healthy nonrelatives. Glutamate, glutamine, and GABA were measured cortically and subcortically in bilateral basal ganglia and occipital cortex. Results Patients with schizophrenia had reduced cortical GABA compared with healthy relatives and the combined sample of healthy relatives and healthy nonrelatives, suggesting that altered GABAergic systems in schizophrenia are associated with either disease state or medication effects. Reduced cortical glutamine relative to healthy control subjects was observed in patients with schizophrenia and the combined sample of healthy relatives and patients with schizophrenia, suggesting that altered glutamatergic metabolite levels are associated with illness liability. No group differences were found in the basal ganglia. Conclusions Taken together, these findings are consistent with alterations in GABAergic and glutamatergic systems in patients with schizophrenia and provide novel insights into these systems in healthy relatives.",
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    T1 - 7T Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, Glutamate, and Glutamine Reveals Altered Concentrations in Patients With Schizophrenia and Healthy Siblings

    AU - Thakkar,Katharine N.

    AU - Rösler,Lara

    AU - Wijnen,Jannie P.

    AU - Boer,Vincent O.

    AU - Klomp,Dennis W.J.

    AU - Cahn,Wiepke

    AU - Kahn,René S.

    AU - Neggers,Sebastiaan F.W.

    PY - 2017/3/15

    Y1 - 2017/3/15

    N2 - Background The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor hypofunction model of schizophrenia predicts dysfunction in both glutamatergic and gamma-aminobutyric acidergic (GABAergic) transmission. We addressed this hypothesis by measuring GABA, glutamate, glutamine, and the sum of glutamine plus glutamate concentrations in vivo in patients with schizophrenia using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 7T, which allows separation of metabolites that would otherwise overlap at lower field strengths. In addition, we investigated whether altered levels of GABA, glutamate, glutamine, and the sum of glutamine plus glutamate reflect genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia by including healthy first-degree relatives. Methods Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 7T was performed in 21 patients with chronic schizophrenia who were taking medication, 23 healthy first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia, and 24 healthy nonrelatives. Glutamate, glutamine, and GABA were measured cortically and subcortically in bilateral basal ganglia and occipital cortex. Results Patients with schizophrenia had reduced cortical GABA compared with healthy relatives and the combined sample of healthy relatives and healthy nonrelatives, suggesting that altered GABAergic systems in schizophrenia are associated with either disease state or medication effects. Reduced cortical glutamine relative to healthy control subjects was observed in patients with schizophrenia and the combined sample of healthy relatives and patients with schizophrenia, suggesting that altered glutamatergic metabolite levels are associated with illness liability. No group differences were found in the basal ganglia. Conclusions Taken together, these findings are consistent with alterations in GABAergic and glutamatergic systems in patients with schizophrenia and provide novel insights into these systems in healthy relatives.

    AB - Background The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor hypofunction model of schizophrenia predicts dysfunction in both glutamatergic and gamma-aminobutyric acidergic (GABAergic) transmission. We addressed this hypothesis by measuring GABA, glutamate, glutamine, and the sum of glutamine plus glutamate concentrations in vivo in patients with schizophrenia using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 7T, which allows separation of metabolites that would otherwise overlap at lower field strengths. In addition, we investigated whether altered levels of GABA, glutamate, glutamine, and the sum of glutamine plus glutamate reflect genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia by including healthy first-degree relatives. Methods Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 7T was performed in 21 patients with chronic schizophrenia who were taking medication, 23 healthy first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia, and 24 healthy nonrelatives. Glutamate, glutamine, and GABA were measured cortically and subcortically in bilateral basal ganglia and occipital cortex. Results Patients with schizophrenia had reduced cortical GABA compared with healthy relatives and the combined sample of healthy relatives and healthy nonrelatives, suggesting that altered GABAergic systems in schizophrenia are associated with either disease state or medication effects. Reduced cortical glutamine relative to healthy control subjects was observed in patients with schizophrenia and the combined sample of healthy relatives and patients with schizophrenia, suggesting that altered glutamatergic metabolite levels are associated with illness liability. No group differences were found in the basal ganglia. Conclusions Taken together, these findings are consistent with alterations in GABAergic and glutamatergic systems in patients with schizophrenia and provide novel insights into these systems in healthy relatives.

    KW - First-degree relatives

    KW - GABA

    KW - Glutamate

    KW - Glutamine

    KW - Magnetic resonance spectroscopy

    KW - Schizophrenia

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    U2 - 10.1016/j.biopsych.2016.04.007

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