Schizophrenia is a neuropsychiatric disorder affecting 1% of the worlds population. Due to both a broad range of symptoms and disease heterogeneity, current therapeutic approaches to treat schizophrenia fail to address all symptomatic manifestations of the disease. Therefore, disease models that reproduce core pathological features of schizophrenia are needed for the elucidation of pathological disease mechanisms. Here, we employ a comprehensive global label-free liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry proteomic (LC-MS<sup>E</sup>) and metabonomic (LC-MS) profiling analysis combined with the targeted proteomics (selected reaction monitoring and multiplex immunoassay) of serum and brain tissues to investigate a chronic phencyclidine (PCP) rat model in which glutamatergic hypofunction is induced through noncompetitive NMDAR-receptor antagonism. Using a multiplex immunoassay, we identified alterations in the levels of several cytokines (IL-5, IL-2, and IL-1β) and fibroblast growth factor-2. Extensive proteomic and metabonomic brain tissue profiling revealed a more prominent effect of chronic PCP treatment on both the hippocampal proteome and metabonome compared to the effect on the frontal cortex. Bioinformatic pathway analysis confirmed prominent abnormalities in NMDA-receptor-associated pathways in both brain regions, as well as alterations in other neurotransmitter systems such as kainate, AMPA, and GABAergic signaling in the hippocampus and in proteins associated with neurodegeneration. We further identified abundance changes in the level of the superoxide dismutase enzyme (SODC) in both the frontal cortex and hippocampus, which indicates alterations in oxidative stress and substantiates the apoptotic pathway alterations. The present study could lead to an increased understanding of how perturbed glutamate receptor signaling affects other relevant biological pathways in schizophrenia and, therefore, support drug discovery efforts for the improved treatment of patients suffering from this debilitating psychiatric disorder.

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Journal of Proteome Research
Department of Neuroscience

Wesseling, H., Want, E. J., Guest, P., Rahmoune, H., Holmes, E., & Bahn, S. (2015). Hippocampal Proteomic and Metabonomic Abnormalities in Neurotransmission, Oxidative Stress, and Apoptotic Pathways in a Chronic Phencyclidine Rat Model. Journal of Proteome Research, 14(8), 3174–3187. doi:10.1021/acs.jproteome.5b00105