Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience Papers in Press available online.

Ebubekir Dirican , Halil Özcan , Sevgi Karabulut Uzunçakmak , Uğur Takım
Bayburt University, Health Services Vocational School, Bayburt, Turkey , Atatürk University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Mental Health and Related Disorders, Erzurum, Turkey
Objective: Apoptosis is programmed cell death that occurs by several pathways. Caspase-3 is induced by active caspase-9 via the intrinsic pathway. The aim of this research was to explore the expression of caspase-3 and caspase-9 in schizophrenia patients and healthy samples.
Methods: RNA was isolated from the peripheral blood of 39 schizophrenia patients' and healthy samples. After cDNA synthesis, real time PCR (RT-PCR) was used to analyse caspase-3 and caspase-9 gene expression. The severity of psychopathological symptoms of schizophrenia was evaluated using the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale for schizophrenia (PANSS) and Clinical Global Impressions (CGI).
Results: The expression of caspase-3 and caspase-9 genes was higher in schizophrenia patients than in healthy samples (p=0.0120, p=0.0022, respectively). The increase in caspase-3 gene expression was significant with being male, smoking and with a duration of less than 6 years (p=0.0468, p=0.0490, p=0.0344, respectively). On the other hand, the increase in caspase-9 gene expression was significant in patients who is smoke, have children, and are under 33 years old (p=0.0395, p=0.0429, p=0.0450, respectively). A significant positive correlation was detected between the caspase-3 and caspase-9 gene expression (r=0.3218, p=0.04880).
Conclusion: Our findings indicate that caspase-3 and caspase-9 gene expression may activate cell death mechanisms by intrinsic apoptotic genes. Furthermore, caspase 3 and caspase 9 may play essential roles in different ways in schizophrenia. Hence there is a need to further study the apoptotic mechanism with expanded patient populations.
Accepted Manuscript [Submitted on 2022-01-22, Accepted on 2022-03-28]