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Hess ME, Hess S, Meyer KD, Verhagen LA, Koch L, Brönneke HS, Dietrich MO, Jordan SD, Saletore Y, Elemento O, Belgardt BF, Franz T, Horvath TL, Rüther U, Jaffrey SR, Kloppenburg P, Brüning JC. The fat mass and obesity associated gene (Fto) regulates activity of the dopaminergic midbrain circuitry. Nat Neurosci . 2013 Aug ; 16(8):1042-8. PubMed Abstract

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Comment by:  Gavin Reynolds
Submitted 28 August 2013 Posted 28 August 2013

FTO and Dopamine Function—A Role in Schizophrenia?
The FTO gene has intrigued molecular genetics since its importance in obesity was recognized in the first major GWAS of body weight and diabetes (Frayling et al., 2007). This finding has been much replicated, although the mechanism underlying association of FTO polymorphisms with obesity has, until recently, been elusive. A recent paper has raised further questions relating to its function. The finding that an FTO knockout in mice can influence dopaminergic activity leads us to speculate whether this gene might be important in schizophrenia and antipsychotic drug action.

FTO codes for fat mass and obesity associated protein, which is, not surprisingly, found in some hypothalamic neurons important in the control of food intake and body weight. In this context it has already been related to the antipsychotic drug action; the established effect of an FTO polymorphism on obesity appears to be even greater in chronically -treated schizophrenia, although it is not...  Read more

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