News Releases & Research Results Novel therapeutic target for schizophrenia - Potential usefulness of a nuclear receptor PPARα activator -

News Releases & Research Results


The results of collaborative research conducted by Chief Investigator Motoko Maekawa of the Career Development Program, Graduate Student/Research Associate Yuina Wada, Deputy Team Leader Tetsuo Ohnishi, and Team Leader Takeo Yoshikawa of the Laboratory for Molecular Psychiatry, RIKEN Center for Brain Science.

The key results of research are as follows:

  • Nuclear receptor “PPAR𝛼,” a kind of transcription factor, may serve as a novel therapeutic target for schizophrenia.
  • Specifically, mutations, potentially leading to PPAR𝛼 dysfunction, were identified in the PPARA gene encoding PPAR𝛼 by gene analysis with DNA samples from schizophrenia patients. PPARA gene-disrupted mice were analyzed, demonstrating that PPAR𝛼 dysfunction caused behavioral and histological changes similar to those of schizophrenia.
  • A PPAR𝛼 activator (agonist), widely used in clinical practice as a therapeutic for dyslipidemia, may be useful for improving schizophrenia-like phenotypes.
  • The results of this research should facilitate the development of new therapeutics for schizophrenia.

This project was conducted with the support of the Strategic Research Program for Brain Sciences by AMED.

The results were published online in the scientific journal EBioMedicine on December 2.


Wada Y., et al. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α as a novel therapeutic target for schizophrenia EBioMedicine
DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.103130


Last updated 12/02/20