The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology

Special Section

Emerging technologies for large-scale screening of human tissues and fluids in the study of severe psychiatric disease

Nancy L.  Johnston-Wilson  a1 , Christopher M. L. S.  Bouton  a2 , Jonathan  Pevsner  a2 , Joseph J.  Breen  a3 , E. Fuller  Torrey  a1 , Robert H.  Yolken  a1 c1 and the Stanley Neurovirology Working Group 
a1 Stanley Division of Developmental Neurovirology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
a2 Department of Neurology, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD; and Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
a3 Ciphergen Biosystems Incorporated, Palo Alto, CA


Neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are major causes of morbidity throughout the world. Despite extensive searches, no single gene, RNA transcript, or protein has been found which can, on its own, account for these disorders. Recently, the availability of genomic tools such as cDNA microarrays, serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) and large-scale sequencing of cDNA libraries has allowed researchers to assay biological samples for a large number of RNA transcripts. Similarly, proteomic tools allow for the quantitation of a large number of peptides and proteins. These methods include two-dimensional electrophoresis and surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization (SELDI). We have initiated experiments which apply these techniques to the comparison of RNAs and proteins expressed in clinical samples obtained from individuals with psychiatric diseases and controls. These methods have the potential to identify pathways that are involved in the pathogenesis of complex psychiatric disorders. The characterization of these pathways may allow for the development of new methods for the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other human psychiatric diseases.

(Received March 2 2000)
(Reviewed September 11 2000)
(Revised November 15 2000)
(Accepted November 27 2000)

Key Words: cDNA libraries; DRAGON; two-dimensional gel electrophoresis; SELDI; electronic differential display.

c1 Address for correspondence: Dr R. Yolken, Stanley Division of Developmental Neurovirology, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Blalock 1106, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA. Tel.: 410-614-0004 Fax: 410-955-3723 E-mail: