Schizophrenia is a kind of neurodevelopmental disease. Epidemiological data associates schizophrenia with prenatal exposure to famine. Relevant prenatal protein deprivation (PPD) rodent models support this result by observing decreasing prepulse inhibition, altered hippocampal morphology and impaired memory in offspring. All these abnormalities are highly consistent with the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. We developed a prenatal famine rat model by restricting daily diet of the pregnant rat to 50% of low protein diet. A metabolomics study of prefrontal cortex was performed to integrate GC-TOFMS and UPLC-QTOFMS. Thirteen controls and thirteen famine offspring were used to differentiate in PLS-DA (partial least squares-discriminate analysis) model. Furthermore, metabolic pathways and diseases were enriched via KEGG and HMDB databases, respectively. A total of 67 important metabolites were screened out according to the multivariate analysis. Schizophrenia was the most statistical significant disease (P = 0.0016) in our famine model. These metabolites were enriched in key metabolic pathways related to energy metabolism and glutamate metabolism. Based on these important metabolites, further discussion speculated famine group was characterized by higher level of oxidized damage compared to control group. We proposed that oxidative stress might be the pathogenesis of prenatal undernutrition which is induced schizophrenia.
Keywords: Metabolic; Prenatal malnutrition; Schizophrenia.