Schizophrenia Research Forum - A Catalyst for Creative Thinking
Home Profile Membership/Get Newsletter Log In Contact Us
 For Patients & Families
What's New
Recent Updates
SRF Papers
Current Papers
Search All Papers
Search Comments
Research News
Conference News
Plain English
Current Hypotheses
Idea Lab
Online Discussions
Virtual Conferences
What We Know
Animal Models
Drugs in Trials
Research Tools
Community Calendar
General Information
Member Directory
Researcher Profiles
Institutes and Labs
About the Site
SRF Team
Advisory Board
Support Us
How to Cite
Fan (E)Mail
The Schizophrenia Research Forum web site is sponsored by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation and was created with funding from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.
Research News
back to News Search Plain English
Small Brain Changes Have Big Impact

October 16, 2013. By manipulating a gene suspected to be involved in schizophrenia, researchers were able to make small changes in brain cells, with big consequences. As reported in a new study published September 18, 2013, in Neuron, even small changes to the connections between brain cells produce large changes to the overall circuitry of the brain, as well as in behaviors that may be relevant to the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Oscar Marín and Beatriz Rico of CSIC-University Miguel Hernández in Alicante, Spain, and their colleagues genetically engineered a group of mice to have lower levels of the brain molecule ErbB4, which has previously been linked to schizophrenia. The method is so precise that they were able to alter the ErbB4 levels just in a particular kind of brain cell, the interneuron. There is good evidence that these cells are malfunctioning in the illness and that they may be responsible for the thinking and memory deficits that are so detrimental to a patient’s quality of life.

Turning off the ErbB4 gene in the interneurons resulted in relatively small changes in the connections between neurons, but much greater alterations in how they interact to produce thought and behavior. Although the symptoms of schizophrenia cannot be truly modeled in a mouse model such as this, and some alterations that are present are different from findings in the illness, this study points to a connection among the ErbB4 molecule, problems with interneuron signaling, and schizophrenia. (For more details, see the related news story.)—Allison A. Curley.

Submit a Comment on this News Article
Make a comment on this news article. 

If you already are a member, please login.
Not sure if you are a member? Search our member database.

*First Name  
*Last Name  
Country or Territory  
*Login Email Address  
*Confirm Email Address  
*Confirm Password  
Remember my Login and Password?  
Get SRF newsletter with recent commentary?  
Enter the code as it is shown below:
This code helps prevent automated registrations.

Please note: A member needs to be both registered and logged in to submit a comment.


(If coauthors exist for this comment, please enter their names and email addresses at the end of the comment.)


SRF News
SRF Comments
Text Size
Reset Text Size
Copyright © 2005- 2016 Schizophrenia Research Forum Privacy Policy Disclaimer Disclosure Copyright