Elevated concentration of N-CAM VASE isoforms in schizophrenia

Marquis P. Vawter, Mark A. Frye, John J. Hemperly, Dale M. Vanderputten, Nsima Usen, Patrick Doherty, Jane L. Saffell, Fuad Issa, Robert M. Post, Richard Jed Wyatt, William J. Freed

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40 Scopus citations


Neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM) is a cell recognition molecule, four major isoforms (180, 140, 120, and 105-115 kDa) of which are present in brain. N-CAM has several roles in cellular organization and CNS development. Previously we have found an elevation in CSF N-CAM 120 kDa in the CSF of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. We now report an increase in the variable alternative spliced exon (VASE), a 10 amino acid sequence inserted into the fourth N-CAM domain, in the CSF of patients with schizophrenia, but not in bipolar disorder or depression. VASE-immunoreactive (VASE-ir) bands were measured in CSF from patients with schizophrenia (n=14), bipolar disorder I (n=7), bipolar disorder II (n=9), unipolar depression (n=17) and matched controls (n=37) by Western immunoblotting. Three VASE-ir bands were distinguished in lumbar CSF corresponding to heavy (165 kDa), medium (155 kDa) and low (140 kDa) MW. A logarithmic transformation was applied to the VASE protein units and analyzed with a MANOVA. There was a 51% and 45% increase in VASE heavy (p=0.0008) and medium (p=0.04) MW protein, respectively, in patients with schizophrenia as compared with normal controls. Current neuroleptic treatment in patients with schizophrenia had no effect on CSF VASE concentrations. VASE concentration correlated significantly with behavioral ratings in patients with schizophrenia but not affective disorders. Thus, VASE immunoreactivity is increased in schizophrenia but not in affective disorders. These results provide further evidence of an abnormality of N-CAM protein in chronic schizophrenia and suggest differences between schizophrenia and affective disorders in regulation of N-CAM. Copyright (C) 1999.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Electrophoresis
  • Hamilton depression rating scale
  • Neural cell adhesion molecule
  • Psychiatric symptom assessment scale
  • Schizophrenia
  • Variable alternative spliced exon
  • Western immunoblot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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