Striatal response to reward anticipation: evidence for a systems-level intermediate phenotype for schizophrenia

Grimm, Oliver and Heinz, Andreas and Walter, Henrik and Kirsch, Peter and Erk, Susanne and Haddad, Leila and Plichta, Michael M. and Romanczuk-Seiferth, Nina and Pohland, Lydia and Mohnke, Sebastian and Muhleisen, Thoomas W. and Mattheisen, Manuel and Witt, Stephanie H. and Schafer, Axel and Cichon, Sven and Nöthen, Markus M. and Rietschel, Marcella and Tost, Heike and Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas. (2014) Striatal response to reward anticipation: evidence for a systems-level intermediate phenotype for schizophrenia. JAMA Psychiatry, 71 (5). pp. 531-539.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/61548/

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IMPORTANCE: Attenuated ventral striatal response during reward anticipation is a core feature of schizophrenia that is seen in prodromal, drug-naive, and chronic schizophrenic patients. Schizophrenia is highly heritable, raising the possibility that this phenotype is related to the genetic risk for the disorder. OBJECTIVE: To examine a large sample of healthy first-degree relatives of schizophrenic patients and compare their neural responses to reward anticipation with those of carefully matched controls without a family psychiatric history. To further support the utility of this phenotype, we studied its test-retest reliability, its potential brain structural contributions, and the effects of a protective missense variant in neuregulin 1 (NRG1) linked to schizophrenia by meta-analysis (ie, rs10503929). DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Examination of a well-established monetary reward anticipation paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging at a university hospital; voxel-based morphometry; test-retest reliability analysis of striatal activations in an independent sample of 25 healthy participants scanned twice with the same task; and imaging genetics analysis of the control group. A total of 54 healthy first-degree relatives of schizophrenic patients and 80 controls matched for demographic, psychological, clinical, and task performance characteristics were studied. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Blood oxygen level-dependent response during reward anticipation, analysis of intraclass correlations of functional contrasts, and associations between striatal gray matter volume and NRG1 genotype. RESULTS: Compared with controls, healthy first-degree relatives showed a highly significant decrease in ventral striatal activation during reward anticipation (familywise error-corrected P .05), and affected by the NRG1 genotype (higher striatal responses in controls with the protective rs10503929 C allele; familywise error-corrected P > .03 for ventral striatal response). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Healthy first-degree relatives of schizophrenic patients show altered striatal activation during reward anticipation in a directionality and localization consistent with prior patient findings. This provides evidence for a functional neural system mechanism related to familial risk. The phenotype can be assessed reliably, is independent of alterations in striatal structure, and is influenced by a schizophrenia candidate gene variant in NRG1. These data encourage us to further investigate the genetic and molecular contributions to this phenotype.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Biomedizin > Department of Biomedicine, University Hospital Basel > Human Genetics (Cichon)
UniBasel Contributors:Cichon, Sven
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:American Medical Association
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:20 Jul 2020 13:03
Deposited On:20 Jul 2020 13:03

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