Glia’s role in schizophrenia

A group from the Netherlands has recently reported on a likely role for glia in schizophrenia susceptibility. Based on studies that glial cells play a significant role in synaptic transmission the group carried out a a functional gene set analysis to test for the combined effects of genetic variants in glial type-specific genes for association with schizophrenia. Their results  showed that astrocyte and oligodendrocyte gene sets, but not microglia gene sets, are associated with an increased risk for schizophrenia. As with other neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders the authors conclude that the neuronal hypothesis of schizophrenia should be extended to include the role of glia. (Goudriaan et al., Schizophrenia Bulletin, 2013)