Neurodevelopment in schizophrenia: The role of the wnt pathways

Isabella Panaccione, Flavia Napoletano, Alberto Maria Forte, Giorgio D. Kotzalidis, Antonio Del Casale, Chiara Rapinesi, Chiara Brugnoli, Daniele Serata, Federica Caccia, Ilaria Cuomo, Elisa Ambrosi, Alessio Simonetti, Valeria Savoja, Lavinia De Chiara, Emanuela Danese, Giovanni Manfredi, Delfina Janiri, Marta Motolese, Ferdinando Nicoletti, Paolo GirardiGabriele Sani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives. To review the role of Wnt pathways in the neurodevelopment of schizophrenia. Methods: Systematic PubMed search, using as keywords all the terms related to the Wnt pathways and crossing them with each of the following areas: normal neurodevelopment and physiology, neurodevelopmental theory of schizophrenia, schizophrenia, and antipsychotic drug action. Results: Neurodevelopmental, behavioural, genetic, and psychopharmacological data point to the possible involvement of Wnt systems, especially the canonical pathway, in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and in the mechanism of antipsychotic drug action. The molecules most consistently found to be associated with abnormalities or in antipsychotic drug action are Akt1, glycogen synthase kinase3beta, and beta-catenin. However, the extent to which they contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia or to antipsychotic action remains to be established. Conclusions: The study of the involvement of Wnt pathway abnormalities in schizophrenia may help in understanding this multifaceted clinical entity; the development of Wnt-related pharmacological targets must await the collection of more data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-558
Number of pages24
JournalCurrent Neuropharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013


  • Antipsychotic drugs
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Schizophrenia
  • Wingless (wnt) signalling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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