Differential regulation of chromogranin A, chromogranin B and secretogranin II in rat brain by phencyclidine treatment

J. Marksteiner*, U. Weiss, C. Weis, A. Laslop, R. Fischer-Colbrie, C. Humpel, J. Feldon, W. W. Fleischhacker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chromogranin A, chromogranin B and secretogranin II belong to the chromogranin family which consists of large protein molecules that are found in large dense core vesicles. Chromogranins are endoproteolytically processed to smaller peptides. This study was designed to elucidate the regulation of chromgranin expression by acute and subchronic phencyclidine administration. The behavioral syndrome produced by phencyclidine represents a pharmacological model for some aspects of schizophrenia [Jentsch and Roth (1999) Neuropsychopharmacology 20, 201-225]. Tissue concentrations of chromogranins were measured with specific radioimmunoassays. Alterations in secretogranin II gene expression were investigated by in situ hybridization. A single dose of phencyclidine (10 mg/kg) led to a transient decrease in secretoneurin tissue levels in the prefrontal cortex after 4 h followed by an increase in secretoneurin tissue levels after 12 h. Repeated phencyclidine treatment (10 mg/kg/day) for five days resulted in elevated secretoneurin levels in cortical areas whereas chromogranin A and chromogranin B tissue levels were unchanged. After the same treatment, a significant increase in the number of secretoneurin containing neurons was found in cortical layers II-III, and V-VI as revealed by immunocytochemistry. The increases in secretoneurin levels were paralleled by an increased number of secretogranin II messenger RNA containing neurons as well as by an increased expression of secretogranin II by individual neurons. The present study shows that secretoneurin II tissue concentration and secretogranin II messenger RNA expression is distinctly altered after acute and subchronic phencyclidine application. From these results we suggest that phencyclidine may induce synaptic alterations in specific brain areas and may contribute to a better understanding of synaptic dysfunction which may also occur in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-333
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - 10 May 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Chromogranin
  • Gene expression
  • Phencyclidine
  • Schizophrenia


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