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Disease models

Transgenic mouse model for schizophrenia

Transgenic mice with astrocyte-specific overexpression of human heme oxygenase decycling 1 (HMOX1; HO-1; Hsp32) could be a useful model for schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. In behavioral assays, the mice showed multiple schizophrenia-like behaviors including hyperlocomotion and impaired prepulse inhibition. Brain tissue samples showed multiple neuropathologies including altered hippocampal cytoarchitecture, subcortical oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage. Next steps include further characterizing the phenotype of the mice and using the model to evaluate the effects of a brain-permeable HO-1 inhibitor from Osta Biotechnologies Inc.
Osta's OB-28 HO-1 inhibitor is in preclinical development for Alzheimer's disease (AD).

SciBX 5(34); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.910
Published online Aug. 30, 2012

Patent application filed; available for licensing

Song, W. et al. J. Neurosci.; published online Aug. 8, 2012;
Contact: Hyman M. Schipper, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada