Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mouse model for schizophrenia has genetic on-off switch

11.09.2007
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have developed a mouse model for schizophrenia in which a mutated gene linked to schizophrenia can be turned on or off at will.

The researchers developed the transgenic mouse by inserting the gene for mutant Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC-1) into a normal mouse, along with a promoter that enables the gene to be switched on or off. Mutant DISC-1 was previously identified in a Scottish family with a strong history of schizophrenia and related mental disorders.

The study was performed in the laboratory of Mikhail Pletnikov, M.D., Ph.D., in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Last month, another Hopkins researcher in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Akira Sawa, M.D., Ph.D., and his team, developed a comparable mutant DISC-1 mouse model for schizophrenia. Pletnikov’s is the first model in which researchers can control the expression of this mutated gene, and the model illuminates additional aspects of the biology of the disorder.

Researchers turn off the mutant DISC-1 gene by feeding the mice a nontoxic chemical that controls a genetically engineered switch mechanism to turn on production of the DISC-1 protein.

The study, which appears in the September issue of Molecular Psychiatry, showed that male mice with the mutant DISC-1 gene were significantly more active than control mice without the mutated gene. The investigators also observed that the male mutant DISC-1 mice had altered social interactions with other mice and were more aggressive. Females with the mutated gene had a more difficult time remembering how to navigate a maze.

“Schizophrenia is a human disorder, so we cannot say the symptoms displayed by the mouse model are schizophrenic. But they are in line with the kinds of behavioral changes we see in humans with schizophrenia,” says Pletnikov.

The research showed other strong similarities between the mouse model and humans with schizophrenia.

Examination of the brains of the mutated mice using MRI scans showed significant enlargement of the lateral ventricles (fluid-filled areas in the front of the brain), very similar to MRI findings in humans with schizophrenia.

Tissue culture studies showed that there was an abnormality in the development of brain cells in the part of the brain generally associated with schizophrenia. Also, the transgenic mice had abnormal levels of the proteins 25 kDa synaptosome-associated protein (SNAP-25) and lissencephaly-1 (LIS-1).

It’s known from previous research that SNAP 25 and LIS-1 are key players in brain cell development and maturation, and several prior studies of brain tissue from humans with schizophrenia showed abnormal levels of SNAP-25.

“This model supports the idea that schizophrenia is a disease associated with abnormal brain development,” says senior co-author of the study Christopher Ross, M.D., Ph.D., of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. “And being able to regulate the timing of expression of the mutant protein provides an opportunity to study the timing and mechanism of specific abnormalities -- a tool that could eventually lead to the discovery of drugs that could potentially control or even prevent the disease.”

Christen Brownlee | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhmi.edu

Further reports about: Control DISC-1 Mutant Psychiatry abnormal mutated schizophrenia

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Bare bones: Making bones transparent
27.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Link Discovered between Immune System, Brain Structure and Memory
26.04.2017 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>