Research Papers:

Up-regulated expression of oxytocin mRNA in peripheral blood lymphocytes from first-episode schizophrenia patients

Xiudeng Yang, Yamei Tang, Qinling Wei, Bing Lang, Huai Tao, Xianghui Zhang, Yong Liu _ and Aiguo Tang

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:78882-78889. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20252

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Xiudeng Yang1, Yamei Tang1, Qinling Wei2, Bing Lang3, Huai Tao4, Xianghui Zhang3, Yong Liu3 and Aiguo Tang1

1Department of Laboratory Medicine, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China

2Department of Psychiatry, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510631, China

3Department of Psychiatry, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China, Mental Health Institute of Central South University & Hunan Key Laboratory of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Changsha, China, China National Clinical Research Center on Mental Disorders (Xiangya) & China National Technology Institute on Mental Disorders, China

4Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Hunan University of Chinese Medicine, Changsha, Hunan 410208, China

Correspondence to:

Yong Liu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: FES, OXT/OXTR, AVP/AVPR1a, CD38, mRNA

Received: February 17, 2017     Accepted: July 25, 2017     Published: August 14, 2017


Schizophrenia (SZ) is a severe neuropsychiatric disorder with significant social cognition impairment. Increasing evidence has suggested that neuropeptides oxytocin (OXT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) are important mediators of complex social cognition and behavior associates with SZ. In the present study, forty-three firstepisode schizophrenia (FES) patients and forty-seven healthy controls (HC) were included. The peripheral mRNA expression of OXT, OXT receptor (OXTR), AVP, AVP 1a receptor (AVPR1a) and CD38 was determined by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). The FES patients have a relatively higher mRNA level of OXT and OXTR genes and lower expression of AVP and CD38 genes than HC. No difference was found for AVPR1a between FES patients and HC. As for the sex difference, the mRNA expression of OXT and OXTR showed no difference in both male and female FES patients compared to HC group. The AVP and CD38 genes in female FES patients showed decreased mRNA expression than female HC. Our findings support disrupted OXT and AVP systems in the FES patients.

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