RNA-seq analysis of amygdala tissue reveals characteristic expression profiles in schizophrenia

Transl Psychiatry. 2017 Aug 15;7(8):e1203. doi: 10.1038/tp.2017.154.


The amygdala brain region has been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia through emotion processing. However, transcriptome messages in the amygdala of schizophrenia patients have not been well studied. We used RNA sequencing to investigate gene-expression profiling in the amygdala tissues, and identified 569 upregulated and 192 downregulated genes from 22 schizophrenia patients and 24 non-psychiatric controls. Gene functional enrichment analysis demonstrated that the downregulated genes were enriched in pathways such as 'synaptic transmission' and 'behavior', whereas the upregulated genes were significantly over-represented in gene ontology pathways such as 'immune response' and 'blood vessel development'. Co-expression-based gene network analysis identified seven modules including four modules significantly associated with 'synaptic transmission', 'blood vessel development' or 'immune responses'. Taken together, our study provides novel insights into the molecular mechanism of schizophrenia, suggesting that precision-tailored therapeutic approaches aimed at normalizing the expression/function of specific gene networks could be a promising option in schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / metabolism*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Schizophrenia / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA
  • Transcriptome*
  • Up-Regulation