Clinical study| Volume 57, P43-45, November 2018

Levels of peripheral Neuregulin 1 are increased in non-medicated autism spectrum disorder patients

  • Erman Esnafoglu
    Address: Ordu University, Faculty of Medicine, Research and Training Hospital, Bucak Mah., Altınordu, Ordu 52200, Turkey.
    Ordu University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Research and Training Hospital, Ordu, Turkey
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Published:August 24, 2018DOI:


      • Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) is a peliotropic growth factor, important in neuronal development and functions.
      • Altered function of NRG1 and its receptor ErbB4 may contribute the pathogenesis of Schizophrenia.
      • Shizophrenia and autism may have common pathogenic mechanisms.
      • This study found that peripheric NRG1 levels is increased in ASD patients.
      • NRG1 may play a role in ASD pathogenesis.


      Though schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are separate diseases, they have some common clinical manifestations and common pathogenic mechanisms. Numerous genes are associated with these conditions. Among these genes, Neuregulin-1 forms a risk for schizophrenia and some studies have shown polymorphism of this gene accompanies schizophrenia. NRG1 has a wide variety of functions, including neuronal migration, axon guidance, synaptic transmission, oligodendroglial maturation, and neurite outgrowth. To date, NRG1 levels have not been researched in ASD patients and considering the neurodevelopmental effects of NRG1, this study aimed to research the peripheral NRG1 levels in ASD patients. The study compared 32 ASD patients and 32 healthy controls. Serum NRG-1 levels were measured with ELISA. In ASD patients (mean ± SD, 10.80 ± 4.78 ng/ml), the NRG1 levels were found to be statistically significantly high compared to the health control group (mean ± SD, 6.92 ± 4.91 ng/ml) (p = 0.004). According to the results we obtained, NRG1 was shown to play a possible role in ASD pathogenesis. There is a need for advanced studies on the possible role of NRG1 in ASD patients. This study is significant as it is the first study to measure peripheral NRG1 in ASD patients.


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