Dysbindin-1 and NRG-1 gene expression in immortalized lymphocytes from patients with schizophrenia

J Hum Genet. 2011 Jul;56(7):478-83. doi: 10.1038/jhg.2011.40. Epub 2011 Apr 21.


The dysbindin-1 and neuregulin-1 (NRG-1) genes are related to schizophrenia. Expression studies in postmortem brains have revealed lower expression of dysbindin-1 and higher expression of NRG-1 in brain tissue from subjects with schizophrenia. In addition to the difficulty of sampling, the use of postmortem brain tissues is not ideal because these tissues are heterogeneous with respect to biochemical parameters, lifetime history of medications and physiological status at the time of death. In contrast, medication and environmental influences that could mask the genetic basis of differences in RNA expression are removed in immortalized lymphocytes by culturing. Only a few microarray analysis studies using immortalized lymphocytes in schizophrenia have been reported, and whether immortalized lymphocytes are an appropriate alternative to neuronal tissue remains controversial. In this study, we measured the mRNA expression levels of dysbindin-1, NRG-1 and two other genes (NPY1R and GNAO1) in immortalized lymphocytes from 45 patients with schizophrenia and 45 controls using real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR. No difference was observed between patients and controls with respect to the expression of dysbindin-1, NRG-1, NPY1R or GNAO1 gene. Our findings suggest that the gene expression profile of immortalized lymphocyte from schizophrenic patients is different from that in postmortem brain tissue at least with respect to the dysbindin-1 and NRG-1 genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Dysbindin
  • Dystrophin-Associated Proteins
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuregulin-1 / genetics*
  • Neuregulin-1 / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Schizophrenia / genetics*
  • Schizophrenia / metabolism


  • Carrier Proteins
  • DTNBP1 protein, human
  • Dysbindin
  • Dystrophin-Associated Proteins
  • NRG1 protein, human
  • Neuregulin-1
  • RNA, Messenger