Behavioural characterization of neuregulin 1 type I overexpressing transgenic mice.
Deakin IH., Law AJ., Oliver PL., Schwab MH., Nave KA., Harrison PJ., Bannerman DM.
Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) is a pleiotropic growth factor involved in diverse aspects of brain development and function. In schizophrenia, expression of the NRG1 type I isoform is selectively increased. However, virtually nothing is known about the roles of this isoform in brain. We have studied transgenic mice overexpressing type I NRG1(NRG1type 1-tg) using a series of behavioural tests. NRG1(type 1-tg) mice have a tremor, are impaired on the accelerating rotarod, and have reduced prepulse inhibition in the context of an increased baseline startle response. There is no overall anxiety or activity phenotype, although female NRG(1type 1-tg) mice show mild increases in anxiety on some measures. The pattern of results shows both similarities and differences to those reported in hypomorphic NRG1 mice, and may be relevant for interpreting the increased NRG1 type I expression observed in schizophrenia.