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Genes, Brain, and Behavior

Cristina Molnar, Beatriz Estrada, Jose F de Celis
Extracellular regulated kinase (Erk) activity is required during neural development for the specification of cell fates in neuroblasts and neuronal lineages, and also regulates several aspects of the activity and survival of mature neurons. The activation of Erk is regulated at multiple levels by kinases and phosphatases that alter its phosphorylation state and by other proteins that regulate its subcellular localization. Here we find that tay bridge (tay), a negative regulator of Erk in Drosophila imaginal discs, is required in the motoneurons to regulate the number and size of neuromuscular synapses in these cells...
March 9, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Anna Delprato, Brice Bonheur, Marie-Paule Algéo, Alba Murillo, Esha Dhawan, Lu Lu, Robert W Williams, Wim E Crusio
Aggression between male conspecifics is a complex social behavior that is likely modulated by multiple gene variants. In this study the BXD recombinant inbred mouse strains (RIS) were used to map quantitative trait loci (QTLs) underlying behaviors associated with intermale aggression. Four hundred and fifty-seven males from 55 strains (including the parentals) were observed at an age of 13 +/- 1 week in a resident-intruder test following 10 days of isolation. Attack latency was measured directly within a 10 minute time period and the test was repeated 24 hours later...
February 19, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Mark H Lewis, Zsuzsa Buchwald, Kathryn Boswell, Gabriella Edington, Michael A King, Amber M Muehlmann
Repetitive motor behaviors are common in neurodevelopmental, psychiatric, and neurological disorders. Despite their prevalence in certain clinical populations, our understanding of the neurobiological cause of repetitive behavior is lacking. Likewise, not knowing the pathophysiology has precluded efforts to find effective drug treatments. Our comparisons between mouse strains that differ in their expression of repetitive behavior revealed an important role of the subthalamic nucleus. In mice with high rates of repetitive behavior, we found significant differences in dendritic spine density, gene expression, and neuronal activation in the subthalamic nucleus...
February 19, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Martesa Tantra, Lanboling Guo, Jinsook Kim, Norliyana Zainolabidin, George J Augustine, Volker Eulenburg, Albert I Chen
Inhibitory interneurons mediate the gating of synaptic transmission and modulate the activities of neural circuits. Disruption of the function of inhibitory networks in the forebrain is linked to impairment of social and cognitive behaviors, but the involvement of inhibitory interneurons in the cerebellum has not been assessed. We found that Cadherin 13 (Cdh13), a gene implicated in autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, is specifically expressed in Golgi cells within the cerebelluar cortex...
February 15, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Palmisano Martina, Caputi Francesca Felicia, Mercatelli Daniela, Romualdi Patrizia, Candeletti Sanzio
The dynorphinergic system is involved in pain transmission at spinal level, where dynorphin exerts antinociceptive or pronociceptive effects, based on its opioid or non-opioid actions. Surprisingly, little evidence is currently available concerning the supraspinal role of the dynorphinergic system in pain conditions. The present study aimed to investigate whether neuropathic pain is accompanied by prodynorphin (Pdyn) and κ-opioid receptor (Oprk1) gene expression alterations in selected mouse brain areas. To this end, mice were subjected to chronic constriction injury of the right sciatic nerve and neuropathic pain behavioral signs were ascertained after 14 days...
February 12, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Lucía Colodro-Conde, Juan F Sanchez-Romera, Penelope A Lind, Gu Zhu, Nicholas G Martin, Sarah E Medland, Juan R Ordoñana
Oxytocin has an important function in breastfeeding via its role in the milk ejection reflex and in attachment and bonding processes. Genetic factors account for a significant part of the individual differences in breastfeeding behaviour. OXT and OXTR have been proposed as gene candidates for breastfeeding. Previous studies have focused on certain single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within these genes, finding null or inconsistent results. The present study analyses the associations between a wide coverage of polymorphisms in OXT and OXTR and breastfeeding duration from two large and independent unselected samples comprising a total of 580 and 2,112 female twin mothers from the Murcia Twin Registry (MTR; Spain) and QIMR (Australia), respectively...
February 7, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Sophie van Rijn, Leo de Sonneville, Hanna Swaab
About 1 in 650 boys are born with an extra X chromosome (47,XXY or Klinefelter Syndrome). 47,XXY is associated with vulnerabilities in socio-emotional development. This study was designed to assess types of cognitive deficits in individuals with 47,XXY that may contribute to social-emotional dysfunction, and to evaluate the nature of such deficits at various levels: ranging from basic visuo-spatial processing deficits, impairments in face recognition, to emotion expression impairments. A total of 70 boys and men with 47,XXY, aged 8 to 60 years old, participated in the study...
February 6, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Annalisa Adinolfi, Cristiana Carbone, Damiana Leo, Raul R Gainetdinov, Giovanni Laviola, Walter Adriani
ADHD is a neuro-psychiatric disorder characterized by a developmentally inappropriate, pervasive and persistent pattern of severe inattention, hyper-activity and impulsivity. Despite onset in early childhood, ADHD may continue into adulthood with substantial impairment in social, academic and occupational functioning. A new animal model of this disorder was developed in rats with genetic deletion of the dopamine transporter (DAT) gene (dopamine transporter knockout rats; DAT-KO rats). We analyzed the behavior of DAT-KO rats for a deeper phenotypical characterization of this model...
February 6, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Kenea C Udobi, Amanda N Kokenge, Emily R Hautman, Gabriela Ullio, Julie Coene, Michael T Williams, Charles V Vorhees, Aloïse Mabondzo, Matthew R Skelton
Creatine transporter (CrT; SLC6A8) deficiency (CTD) is an X-linked disorder characterized by severe cognitive deficits, impairments in language, and an absence of brain creatine (Cr). In a previous study, we generated floxed Slc6a8 (Slc6a8flox ) mice to create ubiquitous Slc6a8 knockout (Slc6a8-/y ) mice. Slc6a8-/y mice lacked whole body Cr and exhibited cognitive deficits. While Slc6a8-/y mice have a similar biochemical phenotype to CTD patients, they also showed a reduction in size and reductions in swim speed that may have contributed to the observed deficits...
January 31, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Edward C Shontz, Christopher L Souders Ii, Jordan T Schmidt, Christopher J Martyniuk
Dopamine plays a significant role in cognition, motor function, and social behavior. The objectives of this study were to (1) quantify the temporal expression of transcripts (dopamine receptors, transporters, and tyrosine hydroxylase) associated with dopamine signaling during early stages of zebrafish development and to (2) determine their expression profiles following treatment with a D2 receptor antagonist domperidone (DMP). We also assessed locomotor behavior following treatment with domperidone using alternating periods of light and dark (i...
January 27, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Chloe Page, Jonathan Alexander, Ryan Shepard, Laurence Coutellier
Healthy cognitive and emotional functioning relies on a balance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex. This balance is largely established during early postnatal and adolescent developmental periods by maturation of the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system, including increased density of parvalbumin cells and perineuronal nets. Genetic and/or environmental factors during adolescence can disrupt GABAergic maturation and lead to behavioral dysfunction in adulthood. The present study examined the interaction between chronic mild stress during adolescence and genetic deficiency of neuronal PAS domain 4 (Npas4), a brain-specific transcription factor that regulates inhibitory neurotransmission and that contributes to adolescent prefrontal GABAergic maturation...
January 18, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Fang Zheng, Qiang Zhou, Yin Cao, Hailian Shi, Hui Wu, Beibei Zhang, Fei Huang, Xiaojun Wu
Purinergic receptor P2Y12 (P2Y12 ), a G protein-coupled (GPCR) purinergic receptor, is widely distributed in nervous system and involved in the progression of neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis and neuropathic pain. The central noradrenergic system actively participates in a number of neurophysiological processes. Nevertheless, whether there is any direct relevance between P2Y12 and noradrenergic signal transduction remains unknown. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that lack of P2Y12 impaired noradrenergic signal transduction in mouse brain...
January 17, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Zofia Harda, Jakub Mateusz Dzik, Maria Nalberczak-Skóra, Ksenia Meyza, Kacper Łukasiewicz, Szymon Łęski, Kasia Radwanska
The α-Ca2+ /calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (αCaMKII), a key regulator of the glutamatergic synapse, has been implicated in many psychiatric disorders characterized by social impairments. Here we tested whether autophosphorylation of αCaMKII at threonine 286, which prolongs the activity of the enzyme, affects social behaviors in mice. We observed that autophosphorylation-deficient (αCaMKII-T286A) mutant female mice showed abnormal social behaviors characterized by decreased social preference and interest in conspecifics of the same sex, as compared to their wild-type littermates...
January 9, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
P Zhou, N He, J-W Zhang, Z-J Lin, J Wang, L-M Yan, H Meng, B Tang, B-M Li, X-R Liu, Y-W Shi, Q-X Zhai, Y-H Yi, W-P Liao
Epileptic encephalopathies are severe epilepsy disorders with strong genetic bases. We performed targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) in 70 patients with epileptic encephalopathies. The likely pathogenicity of variants in candidate genes was evaluated by American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) scoring taken together with the accepted clinical presentation. Thirty-three candidate variants were detected after population filtration and computational prediction. According to ACMG, 21 candidate variants, including 18 de novo variants, were assessed to be pathogenic/likely pathogenic with clinical concordance...
January 4, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Robert J Oliver, Jonathan L Brigman, Federico Bolognani, Andrea M Allan, Janet L Neisewander, Nora I Perrone-Bizzozero
The neuronal RNA-binding protein HuD is involved in synaptic plasticity and learning and memory mechanisms. These effects are thought to be due to HuD-mediated stabilization and translation of target mRNAs associated with plasticity. To investigate the potential role of HuD in drug addiction, we first used bioinformatics prediction algorithms together with microarray analyses to search for specific genes and functional networks upregulated within the forebrain of HuD overexpressing mice (HuDOE ). When this set was further limited to genes in the Knowledgebase of Addiction Related Genes database (KARG) that contains predicted HuD-binding sites in their 3' untranslated regions (3' UTR), we found that HuD regulates networks that have been associated with addiction-like behavior...
December 28, 2017: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
M R Castino, D Baker-Andresen, V S Ratnu, G Shevchenko, K V Morris, T W Bredy, N A Youngson, K J Clemens
Drugs of addiction lead to a wide range of epigenetic changes at the promoter regions of genes directly implicated in learning and memory processes. We have previously shown that the histone deactylase inhibitor, sodium butyrate (NaB), accelerates the extinction of nicotine-seeking and provides resistance to relapse. Here, we explore the potential molecular mechanisms underlying this effect. Rats received intravenous nicotine or saline self-administration, followed by 6 days of extinction training, with each extinction session followed immediately by treatment with NaB or vehicle...
February 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Prescott T Leach, Jacqueline N Crawley
Mutant mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders with intellectual disabilities provide useful translational research tools, especially in cases where robust cognitive deficits are reproducibly detected. However, motor, sensory, and/or health issues consequent to the mutation may introduce artifacts that preclude testing in some standard cognitive assays. Touchscreen learning and memory tasks in small operant chambers have the potential to circumvent these confounds. Here we employ touchscreen visual discrimination learning to evaluate performance in the maternally derived Ube3a mouse model of Angelman syndrome, the Ts65Dn trisomy mouse model of Down syndrome, and the Mecp2Bird mouse model of Rett syndrome...
December 20, 2017: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Corina Nagy, Kathryn Vaillancourt, Gustavo Turecki
Chronic stressors, during developmental critical periods and beyond, contribute to the risk of developing psychiatric conditions, including major depressive disorder (MDD). Epigenetic mechanisms including DNA methylation and histone modifications, at key stress response and neurotrophin genes, are increasingly implicated in mediating this risk. Although the exact mechanisms through which stressful environmental stimuli alter the epigenome are still unclear, research from the learning and memory fields indicates that epigenomic marks can be altered, at least in part, through calcium-dependent signalling cascades in direct response to neuronal activity...
December 18, 2017: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
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