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    ABSTRACT: To explore the effect of anti-psychotic treatment on the expression of Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) mRNA in the peripheral blood lymphocytes of schizophrenia patients. The NRG1 mRNA in peripheral blood lymphocytes was measured using semi-quantitative reverse transcription (RT)-PCR in 80 first-onset schizophrenia patients, 37 sibling controls and 83 non-related controls. The patients were treated with risperdone and quetiapine for 4 weeks. Positive and negative symptom scale (PANSS) was used to evaluate the severity and clinical efficacy. Prior to the treatment, the expression of NRG1 mRNA expression was significantly lower in patients than other two groups (F=73.004, P=0.000). From the second week on, the level of NRG1 mRNA expression in patients became significantly higher than before and gradually increased, whilst no significant difference between sib and non-sib controls. Prior to the treatment, there was significant correlation (r=-0.232, P=0.038) between the level of NRG1 mRNA and PANSS scores. Four weeks after the treatment, a significant correlation between the reduction rate of PANSS and the change of NRG1 mRNA (r=0.27, P=0.016). The expression of NRG1 gene mRNA is associated with schizophrenia. Decreased expression of NRG1 may play a role in the development of schizophrenia, which can be improved by anti-psychotic drugs.
    Zhonghua yi xue yi chuan xue za zhi = Zhonghua yixue yichuanxue zazhi = Chinese journal of medical genetics 12/2011; 28(6):620-4.