Altered hippocampal gene expression and structure in transgenic mice overexpressing neuregulin 1 (Nrg1) type I.
Deakin IH., Godlewska BR., Walker MA., Huang G-J., Schwab MH., Nave K-A., Law AJ., Harrison PJ.
Transgenic mice overexpressing the type I isoform of neuregulin 1 (Nrg1; NRG1) have alterations in hippocampal gamma oscillations and an age-emergent deficit in hippocampus-dependent spatial working memory. Here, we examined the molecular and morphological correlates of these findings. Microarrays showed over 100 hippocampal transcripts differentially expressed in Nrg1tg-type I mice, with enrichment of genes related to neuromodulation and, in older mice, of genes involved in inflammation and immunity. Nrg1tg-type I mice had an enlarged hippocampus with a widened dentate gyrus. The results show that Nrg1 type I impacts on hippocampal gene expression and structure in a multifaceted and partly age-related way, complementing the evidence implicating Nrg1 signaling in aspects of hippocampal function. The findings are also relevant to the possible role of NRG1 signaling in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia or other disorders affecting this brain region.