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Protein researches closing in on the mystery of schizophrenia
Date:4/11/2014

anish Technological Institute, he is the author of a scientific paper about the discovery, published in the international Journal of Proteome Research.

Among the symptoms and reactions that can be observed in both humans and rats are changes in movement and reduced cognitive functions such as impaired memory, attention and learning ability.

"Scientists have studied PCP rats for decades, but until now no one really knew what was going on in the rat brains on a molecular level. We now present what we believe to be the largest proteomics data set to date", says Ole Nrregaard Jensen.

PCP is absorbed very quickly by the brain, and it only stays in the brain for a few hours. Therefore, it was important for researchers to examine the rat brain cells soon after the rats were injected with the hallucinogenic drug.

"Already after 15 minutes we could see changes in the proteins in the brain, and after 240 minutes it was almost over", says Ole Nrregaard Jensen.

The University of Southern Denmark holds some of the world's most advanced equipment for studying proteins, and Ole Nrregaard Jensen and his colleagues used the university's so-called mass spectrometers for their protein studies.

"We found 2604 proteins, and we saw changes in 352 of them, that can be associated with the PCP injections. These 352 proteins will be extremely interesting to study in more detail to see if they are also altered in people with schizophrenia - and if that's the case, then it will of course be interesting to try to develop a drug that can prevent the protein changes that lead to schizophrenia", says Ole Nrregaard Jensen about the discovery and the work that now lies ahead.

The 352 proteins in rat brains responded immediately when the animals were exposed to PCP. Roughly speaking, the drug made proteins turn on or off when they should not turn on and off. This started a chain reaction of other disturbances in the molecular netw
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Contact: Birgitte Svennevig
birs@sdu.dk
University of Southern Denmark
Source:Eurekalert

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