Neuregulin 1-stimulated phosphorylation of AKT in psychotic disorders and its relationship with neurocognitive functions

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Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of psychotic disorders. NRG1 exerts its effects via the Ras-MAPK and phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase-protein kinase B (PI3K-PKB/AKT) intracellular signaling pathways through ErbB receptors. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between NRG1-stimulated AKT phosphorylation and neurocognitive functions in patients with schizophrenia and in patients with other psychotic disorders. B lymphoblasts of patients (n = 40) and controls (n = 20) were stimulated with NRG1a (65 amino-acid residue recombinant protein from the epidermal growth factor [EGF] domain) for 30-min. The protein isolated from the cells was analyzed by Western blotting. The dependent measure was the ratio of phosphorylated AKT (pAKT) and total AKT at baseline (without NRG1 stimulation) and after NRG1 stimulation (pAKT/AKT). The neurocognitive functions (attention, immediate and long-term memory, language, visual-spatial skills) were evaluated by the repeatable brief assessment of neuropsychological status (RBANS) battery. The results revealed a significantly reduced pAKT/AKT ratio in patients with schizophrenia as compared with healthy controls and with patients with other psychotic disorders. The patients with other psychotic disorders did not differ from the healthy controls. Despite the fact that neurocognitive functions were significantly impaired in the patients, these functions did not reveal significant correlations with the pAKT/AKT ratio. In conclusion, NRG1-induced AKT phosphorylation is decreased in schizophrenia but not in other psychotic disorders. This peripheral marker is not related to neurocognitive functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-609
Number of pages4
JournalNeurochemistry international
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2009



  • AKT
  • Cognition
  • Neuregulin 1
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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