Altered levels of Reelin and its isoforms in schizophrenia and mood disorders

S H Fatemi, Jerome L. Kroll, Joel M. Stary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


Reelin is a secreted extracellular matrix protein ∼410 kDa mol. wt that is reduced in brains of patients with schizophrenia, autism, bipolar disorder and major depression. Recent reports also indicate its near absence in sera of some patients with an autosomal recessive form of lissencephaly. Moreover, Reelin is involved not only in normal cortical lamination of the brain during mammalian embryogenesis but is also implicated in cell signaling systems subserving cognition in adult brain. Here, we show that blood levels of Reelin and its isoforms are altered in three psychiatric disorders, namely, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. The changes include significant increases in 410 kDa Reelin moiety of 49% in schizophrenic patients (p < 0.022) of four ethnic compositions (Caucasian, Vietnamese, Hmong and Laotian) and non-significant increases in depressed patients by 34% vs control blood. In contrast, 410 kDa Reelin levels decreased by 33% in bipolar blood, albeit non-signficantly, vs controls. There was a significant increase of 90% (p<0.0061) in 330 kDa Reelin in Caucasian schizophrenics; the depressed value was elevated by 30% vs control but non-significantly. Again, in contrast, bipolar 330 kDa value decreased by 31% vs control (p < 0.0480). Finally, all 180 kDa Reelin values varied minimally in schizophrenics vs controls. In contrast, the 180 kDa Reelin values dropped significantly by 49% (p<0.0117) and 29% (p<0.0424) in bipolar and depressed patients, respectively, compared with controls. The alterations in blood Reelin values appear to be specific since levels of two other blood proteins, ceruloplasmin and albumin did not vary significantly between all psychiatric subjects and controls. These findings suggest that blood Reelin levels and its isoforms may be used as potential peripheral markers to diagnose presence of several psychiatric disorders and may also serve as targets for future therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3209-3215
Number of pages7
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 29 2001


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Blood
  • Caucasian
  • Major depression
  • Reelin
  • Schizophrenia
  • Vietnamese
  • Western blotting


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