Schizophrenia Induces Oxidative Stress and Cytochrome C Release in Isolated Rat Brain Mitochondria: a Possible Pathway for Induction of Apoptosis and Neurodegeneration

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Schizophrenia is a chronic and often debilitating illness which affects about 1% of the world population. Some reagents have been used to simulate schizophrenic disorders in laboratory animals, such as amphetamine and ketamine. Previous studies have suggested that reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, reduced levels of ATP, mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis are involved in the pathophysiology and etiology of schizophrenia. In this study we divided Wistar rats in to 2 groups; control group received normal saline and test group received ketamine 30 mg/Kg daily for five consecutive days. Then, locomotor activity including side to side head rocking and arcing of neck, proved schizophrenia in the test group rats. Rats in both control and test groups were then decapitated and brain mitochondria were isolated. Our results showed increased ROS formation, mitochondrial membrane potential collapse, mitochondrial swelling and cytochrome c release in mitochondria of schizophrenic test group. Our findings suggested that mitochondrial ROS formation and apoptosis signaling are likely involved in cellular pathology of Schizophrenia. To our knowledge this is the first report that provides a mechanistic justification between mitochondrial events and neuodegeneration in the Schizophrenia.