Behavioural characterization of neuregulin 1 type I overexpressing transgenic mice.

Department of Psychiatry, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
Neuroreport (Impact Factor: 1.4). 11/2009; 20(17):1523-8. DOI: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e328330f6e7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) is a pleiotropic growth factor involved in diverse aspects of brain development and function. In schizophrenia, expression of the NRG1 type I isoform is selectively increased. However, virtually nothing is known about the roles of this isoform in brain. We have studied transgenic mice overexpressing type I NRG1(NRG1type 1-tg) using a series of behavioural tests. NRG1(type 1-tg) mice have a tremor, are impaired on the accelerating rotarod, and have reduced prepulse inhibition in the context of an increased baseline startle response. There is no overall anxiety or activity phenotype, although female NRG(1type 1-tg) mice show mild increases in anxiety on some measures. The pattern of results shows both similarities and differences to those reported in hypomorphic NRG1 mice, and may be relevant for interpreting the increased NRG1 type I expression observed in schizophrenia.

1 Bookmark
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sintomas psiquiátricos são subjetivos por natureza e tendem a se sobrepor entre diferentes desordens. Sendo assim, a criação de modelos de uma desordem neuropsiquiátrica encontra desafios pela falta de conhecimento dos fundamentos da fisiopatologia e diagnósticos precisos. Modelos animais são usados para testar hipóteses de etiologia e para representar a condição humana tão próximo quanto possível para aumentar nosso entendimento da doença e avaliar novos alvos para a descoberta de drogas. Nesta revisão, modelos animais genéticos e de neurodesenvolvimento de esquizofrenia são discutidos com respeito a achados comportamentais e neurofisiológicos e sua associação com a condição clínica. Somente modelos animais específicos de esquizofrenia podem, em último caso, levar a novas abordagens diagnósticas e descoberta de drogas. Argumentamos que biomarcadores moleculares são importantes para aumentar a tradução de animais a humanos, já que faltam a especificidade e a fidelidade necessárias às leituras comportamentais para avaliar sintomas psiquiátricos humanos.
    Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica 12/2012; 40(1):41-50. · 0.63 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neuregulins (NRGs) comprise a large family of growth factors that stimulate ERBB receptor tyrosine kinases. NRGs and their receptors, ERBBs, have been identified as susceptibility genes for diseases such as schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder. Recent studies have revealed complex Nrg/Erbb signaling networks that regulate the assembly of neural circuitry, myelination, neurotransmission, and synaptic plasticity. Evidence indicates there is an optimal level of NRG/ERBB signaling in the brain and deviation from it impairs brain functions. NRGs/ERBBs and downstream signaling pathways may provide therapeutic targets for specific neuropsychiatric symptoms.
    Neuron 07/2014; 83(1):27-49. · 15.77 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neuregulin 3 (NRG3), a specific ligand for ErbB4 and a neuronal-enriched neurotrophin is implicated in the genetic predisposition to a broad spectrum of neurodevelopmental, neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, autism and schizophrenia. Genetic studies in schizophrenia demonstrate that risk variants in NRG3 are associated with cognitive and psychotic symptom severity, accompanied by increased expression of prefrontal cortical NRG3. Despite our expanding knowledge of genetic involvement of NRG3 in neurological disorders, little is known about the neurodevelopmental mechanisms of risk. Here we exploited the fact that a paralog of NRG3, NRG1, readily penetrates the murine blood brain barrier (BBB). In this study we synthesized the bioactive epidermal growth factor (EGF) domain of NRG3, and using previously validated in-vivo peripheral injection methodologies in neonatal mice, demonstrate that NRG3 successfully crosses the BBB, where it activates its receptor ErbB4 and downstream Akt signaling at levels of bioactivity comparable to NRG1. To determine the impact of NRG3 overexpression during one critical developmental window, C57BL/6 male mice were subcutaneously injected daily with NRG1-EGF, NRG3-EGF or vehicle from postnatal days 2-10. Mice were tested in adulthood using a comprehensive battery of behavioral tasks relevant to neurocognitive and psychiatric disorders. In agreement with previous studies, developmental overexposure to NRG1 induced multiple non-CNS mediated peripheral effects as well as severely disrupting performance of prepulse inhibition of the startle response. In contrast, NRG3 had no effect on any peripheral measures investigated or sensorimotor gating. Specifically, developmental NRG3 overexposure produced an anxiogenic-like phenotype and deficits in social behavior in adulthood. These results provide primary data to support a role for NRG3 in brain development and function, which appears to be distinct from its paralog NRG1. Furthermore we demonstrate how perturbations in NRG3 expression at distinct developmental stages may contribute to the neurological deficits observed in brain disorders such as schizophrenia and autism.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(8):e104172. · 3.53 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jul 23, 2014