Dysfunction of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) has been demonstrated to be involved in psychiatric diseases. However, the expression patterns and functions of the regulatory lncRNAs in schizophrenia (SZ) patients have rarely been systematically reported.
The lncRNAs in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were screened and compared between the SZ patients and demographically-matched healthy controls using microarray analysis, and then were validated by quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) method. Three verified significantly dysregulated lncRNAs of PBMCs were selected and then measured in SZ patients before and after the antipsychotic treatment. SZ symptomatology improvement was measured by Positive And Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) scores.
One hundred and twenty-five lncRNAs were significantly differentially expressed in SZ patients compared with healthy controls, of which 62 were up-regulated and 63 were down-regulated. Concurrent with the significant decrease of the PANSS scores of patients after the treatment, the PBMC levels of lncRNA NONHSAT089447 and NONHSAT041499 were strikingly decreased (P<0.05). Down-regulation of PBMC expression of NONHSAT041499 was significantly correlated to the improvement of positive and activity symptoms of patients (r=-0.444 and -0.423, respectively, P<0.05, accounting for 16.9% and 15.1%, respectively), and was also significantly associated with better outcomes (odds ratio 2.325 for positive symptom and 12.340 for activity symptom).