Retroviral Sequences in Brain and Cell Culture

Retroviral Sequences in Brain and Cell Culture

Maja Schramm, a graduate student from Bonn, Germany, is

investigating retroviral sequences and viral activity in an in-vitro cell

culture system.  Human neuroblastoma cells (SK-N-DZ), which have the

capability of differentiating into mature neurons when treated with retinoic

acid, are inoculated with ventricular fluids from patients affected by

schizophrenia (SZ), major depression (MD) and bipolar disorder (BP) as well as

normal controls (N).  Spent culture media will be collected and tested for

reverse transcriptase activity (PERT).  DNA and RNA extracted from the

cells before and after differentiation will be analyzed by standard molecular

biology techniques for the presence of retroviral sequences.