Genetic factors play an important role in the development of schizophrenia that the etiology is clearly not known. However, specific inheritance mechanism of this disorder is still unclear. Inheritance of schizophrenia is thought to be polygenic or multifactorial. In the recent studies, mitochondrial function and cerebral energy metabolism abnormalities have been identified in patients with schizophrenia. Cognitive deficits and behavioral abnormalities evident as typically found in the clinical course of schizophrenia may develop due to the affection of neuronal plasticity and brain circuits by impaired function of mitochondria. Some changes were found in patients with schizophrenia compared with control subjects in the researches examining both brain and peripheral tissues. Also, it was seen that antipsychotics used in the treatment of schizophrenia might lead to a progressive reduction in oxidative phosphorylation capacity of mitochondria by inhibition of respiratory chain. Especially the findings of the peripheral tissues in patients with schizophrenia were considered to be used as a biological marker for schizophrenia in these studies. Changes in the mitochondria of platelets are considered as a peripheral model for the neurons because of the lack of the platelets’ own DNA. These changes reflect the findings of the brain in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders. At the present time, making the diagnosis of schizophrenia based on only clinical criteria reveal the necessity of finding peripheral biological marker for schizophrenia. Thus further systematic studies investigating the relationship between schizophrenia and changes in mitochondrial electron transport chain are required.
Schizophrenia, mitochondrial dysfunction, biological marker