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Impaired Neuregulin1-stimulated B Lymphoblast Migration as Diagnostic for Schizophrenia

Posted Feb 28 2006 4:00pm

Description of Invention:
Schizophrenia may be a neurodevelopmental disorder (Weinberger D.R. and Marenco S. in Schizophrenia as a neurodevelopmental disorder, Hirsch S., Weinberger D.R. (eds) Schizophrenia, 2nd ed., Blackwell Science: Oxford, UK, 2003 pp 326-348). Neuregulin1 (NRG1) plays a critical role in neuronal migration and maturation by interacting with ErbB tyrosine kinase receptors and linkage studies and genetically engineered animals have implicated NRG1-mediated signaling in the neuropathogenesis of schizophrenia. Although no technique is available to assess NRG1/ErbB mediated neural migration in living human brain, there is increasing recognition that neuronal cells and immune cells share many cellular and molecular mechanisms for cell migration and motility. These inventors showed NRG1 mediated chemotactic responses of B lymphocytes from schizophrenic patients are significantly decreased compared to controls. If aberrant ErbB function during development is a cause of schizophrenia, and that aberrant ErbB function is expressed in peripheral blood cells throughout life, the assay should predict susceptibility to schizophrenia even before clinical symptoms are apparent.

Daniel R Weinberger (NIMH)

Patent Status:
HHS, Reference No. E-181-2005/1

Licensing Status:
vailable for non-exclusive or exclusive licensing.

In addition, the NIMH Clinical Brain Disorders Branch is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize the above technology. Please contact Suzanne L. Winfield at for more information.

Central Nervous System
Central Nervous System - Diagnostics

For Additional Information Please Contact:
Charlene Sydnor Ph.D.
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
6011 Executive Blvd. Suite 325,
Rockville, MD 20852
United States
Phone: 301-435-4689
Fax: 301-402-0220

Ref No: 1319

Updated: 03/2006

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