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Genes, Brain, and Behavior

Linde C M van Dongen, Ellen Wingbermühle, William M van der Veld, Karlijn Vermeulen, Anja G Bos-Roubos, Charlotte W Ockeloen, Tjitske Kleefstra, Jos I M Egger
KBG syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder, caused by dominant mutations in ANKRD11, that is characterized by developmental delay/intellectual disability, mild craniofacial dysmorphisms, and short stature. Behavior and cognition have hardly been studied, but anecdotal evidence suggests higher frequencies of ADHD-symptoms and social-emotional impairments. In this study, behavioral and cognitive profile of KBG syndrome will be investigated in order to examine if and how cognitive deficits contribute to behavioral difficulties...
February 20, 2019: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Rachel D Penrod, Jaswinder Kumar, Laura N Smith, Daniel McCalley, Todd Nentwig, Brandon Hughes, Gabriella Barry, Kelsey Glover, Makoto Taniguchi, Christopher W Cowan
The activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc, also known as Arg3.1) regulates glutamatergic synapse plasticity and has been linked to neuropsychiatric illness; however, its role in behaviors associated with mood and anxiety disorders remains unclear. We find that stress upregulates Arc expression in the adult mouse nucleus accumbens (NAc) - a brain region implicated in mood and anxiety behaviors. Global Arc knockout mice have altered AMPAR-subunit surface levels in the adult NAc, and the Arc-deficient mice show reductions in anxiety-like behavior, deficits in social novelty preference, and anti-depressive-like behavior...
February 13, 2019: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Brent M Horton, T Brandt Ryder, Ignacio T Moore, Christopher N Balakrishnan
The vertebrate basal forebrain and midbrain contain a set of interconnected nuclei that control social behavior. Conserved anatomical structures and functions of these nuclei have now been documented among fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, and these brain regions have come to be known as the vertebrate social behavior network (SBN). While it is known that nuclei (nodes) of the SBN are rich in steroid and neuropeptide activity linked to behavior, simultaneous variation in the expression of neuroendocrine genes among several SBN nuclei has not yet been described in detail...
February 12, 2019: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Bastijn J G van den Boom, Adriana H Mooij, Ieva Misevičiūtė, Damiaan Denys, Ingo Willuhn
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by obsessive thinking, compulsive behavior, and anxiety, and is often accompanied by cognitive deficits. The neuropathology of OCD involves dysregulation of cortical-striatal circuits. Similar to OCD patients, SAPAP3 knockout mice 3 (SAPAP3-/- ) exhibit compulsive behavior (grooming), anxiety, and dysregulated cortical-striatal function. However, it is unknown whether SAPAP3-/- display cognitive deficits and how these different behavioral traits relate to one another...
January 27, 2019: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Wijeong Jang, Sojung Lee, Seung-In Choi, Hyo-Seok Chae, Jisun Han, Heeji Jo, Sun Wook Hwang, Chul-Seung Park, Changsoo Kim
The mechanosensory neurons of Drosophila larvae are demonstrably activated by diverse mechanical stimuli, but the mechanisms underlying this function are not completely understood. Here we report a genetic, immunohistochemical, and electrophysiological analysis of the Ppk30 ion channel, a member of the Drosophila pickpocket (ppk) family, counterpart of the mammalian Degenerin/Epithelial Na+ Channel family. Ppk30 mutant larvae displayed deficits in proprioceptive movement and mechanical nociception, which are detected by class IV sensory (mdIV) neurons...
January 23, 2019: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Thomas Contesse, Marion Ayrault, Massimo Mantegazza, Michèle Studer, Olivier Deschaux
The nuclear receptor COUP TFI (also known as Nr2f1) plays major roles in specifying distinct neuronal subtypes during patterning of the neocortical motor and somatosensory cortex, as well as in regulating the longitudinal growth of the hippocampus during development. In humans, mutations in the NR2F1 gene lead to a global developmental delay and intellectual disabilities. While more than 30% of patients show behavioral features of autism spectrum disorder, 16% of haploinsufficient children show signs of hyperactivity and impulsivity...
January 17, 2019: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Xu Chen, Shota Nishitani, Ebrahim Haroon, Alicia K Smith, James K Rilling
Oxytocin (OT) effects on brain function and behavior are mediated by the oxytocin receptor (OXTR). The distribution of OXTR in the brain can profoundly influence social behavior. Emerging evidence suggests that DNA methylation of OXTR influences OXTR expression. Previously, we conducted a pharmaco-functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging study in which healthy subjects were randomized to 24 IU intranasal OT or placebo and imaged with fMRI while playing a dyadic social interaction task known as the iterated Prisoner's Dilemma (PD) game with same-sex partners...
January 9, 2019: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Theresa M Kisko, Moria D Braun, Susanne Michels, Stephanie H Witt, Marcella Rietschel, Carsten Culmsee, Rainer K W Schwarting, Markus Wöhr
As cross-disorder risk gene, CACNA1C is implicated in the etiology of all major neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by deficits in social behavior and communication and there is evidence for sex-dependent influences of single-nucleotide polymorphisms within CACNA1C on diagnosis, course, and recovery in humans. In our present study, we aimed therefore at further exploring the role of Cacna1c in regulating behavioral phenotypes, focusing on sex-specific differences in social behavior and communication during the critical developmental period of adolescence in rats...
December 27, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Han B Lee, Tanya L Schwab, Ashley N Sigafoos, Jennifer L Gauerke, Randall G Krug, MaKayla R Serres, Dakota C Jacobs, Ryan P Cotter, Biswadeep Das, Morgan O Petersen, Camden L Daby, Rhianna M Urban, Bethany C Berry, Karl J Clark
When vertebrates face acute stressors, their bodies rapidly undergo a repertoire of physiological and behavioral adaptations, which is termed the stress response. Rapid changes in heart rate and blood glucose levels occur via the interaction of glucocorticoids and their cognate receptors following hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation. These physiological changes are observed within minutes of encountering a stressor and the rapid time domain rules out genomic responses that require gene expression changes...
December 26, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
A Günther, V Luczak, N Gruteser, T Abel, A Baumann
Hyperpolarization-activated and cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels mediate the Ih current in the murine hippocampus. Disruption of the Ih current by knockout of HCN1, HCN2 or TRIP8b has been shown to affect physiological processes such as synaptic integration and maintenance of resting membrane potentials as well as several behaviors in mice, including depressive-like and anxiety-like behaviors. However, the potential involvement of the HCN4 isoform in these processes is unknown. Here, we assessed the contribution of the HCN4 isoform to neuronal processing and hippocampus-based behaviors in mice...
December 25, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Valentina Ferretti, Francesco Papaleo
Emotion recognition represents the ability to encode an ensemble of sensory stimuli providing information about the emotional state of another individual. This ability is not unique to humans. An increasing number of studies suggests that many aspects of higher order social functions, including emotion recognition, might be present in species ranging from primates to rodents, indicating a conserved role of these abilities in social animals. The aim of this review is to use a comparative approach to examine how emotions are communicated and perceived in humans and other animals, with the intent to highlight possible new behavioral approaches and research perspectives...
December 13, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Lena-Sophie Martis, Ove Wiborg, Megan C Holmes, Anjanette P Harris
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading contributor to the global burden of disease. However, the causal relationship of risk factors, such as genetic predisposition or experience of augmented stress, remain unknown. Numerous studies in humans and rodents have implicated brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in MDD pathology, as a genetic risk factor and a factor regulated by stress. Until now, the majority of preclinical studies have employed genetically modified mice as their model of choice. However, mice display a limited behavioural repertoire and lack expression of circulating BDNF, which is present in rats and humans...
December 13, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
S Eyun
Trace amines (TAs) in the mammalian brain have been investigated for four decades. Trace amine-associated receptors (TAARs) were discovered during the search for receptors activated by TAs. TAARs are considered a second class of vertebrate olfactory receptors and successfully proliferated in conjunction with adaptation to living on the ground to detect carnivore odors. Thus therian mammals have a high number of TAAR genes due to rapid species-specific gene duplications. In primate lineages, however, their genomes have significantly smaller numbers of TAAR genes than do other mammals...
December 10, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
M R Guimarães, A R Soares, A M Cunha, M Esteves, S Borges, R Magalhães, P S Moreira, A J Rodrigues, N Sousa, A Almeida, H Leite-Almeida
Chronic pain is frequently accompanied by the manifestation of emotional disturbances and cognitive deficits. While a causality relation between pain and emotional/cognitive disturbances is generally assumed, several observations suggest a temporal dissociation and independent mechanisms. We therefore studied Sprague-Dawley rats that presented a natural resistance to pain manifestation in a neuropathy model (spared nerve injury; SNI) and compared their performance in a battery of behavioral paradigms - anxiety, depression and fear memory - with animals that presented a pain phenotype...
November 28, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Vasiliy V Reshetnikov, Anna V Kovner, Arina A Lepeshko, Konstantin S Pavlov, Larisa N Grinkevich, Natalya P Bondar
The hippocampus is a crucial part of the limbic system involved both in cognitive processing and in the regulation of responses to stress. Adverse experiences early in life can disrupt hippocampal development and lead to impairment of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to subsequent stressors. In our study, two types of early-life stress were used: prolonged separation of pups from their mothers (for 3 h/day, maternal separation, MS) and brief separation (for 15 min/day, handling, HD). In the first part of our study, we found that adult female mice (F0) who had experienced MS showed reduced locomotor activity and impairment of long-term spatial and recognition memory...
November 28, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Andrew Holmes
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 2019: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Elisa De Stefani, Ylenia Nicolini, Mauro Belluardo, Pier Francesco Ferrari
According to the Darwinian perspective, facial expressions of emotions evolved to quickly communicate emotional states and would serve adaptive functions that promote social interactions. Embodied cognition theories suggest that we understand others' emotions by reproducing the perceived expression in our own facial musculature (facial mimicry) and the mere observation of a facial expression can evoke the corresponding emotion in the perceivers. Consequently, the inability to form facial expressions would affect the experience of emotional understanding...
January 2019: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Noa Sadigurschi, Hava M Golan
Individuals with autism constitute a variable population whose members are spread along the autism spectrum. Subpopulations within that spectrum exhibit other conditions, such as anxiety, intellectual disabilities, hyperactivity and epilepsy, with different severities and co-occurrences. Among the genes associated with the increased risk for autism is the methylenetetrahydrofolate-reductase (MTHFR) 677C>T polymorphism, which impairs one-carbon (C1) metabolic pathway efficiency. The frequency of the MTHFR677TT homozygote is markedly higher among autism patients and their mothers than in the general population...
January 2019: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
Sueun Lee, Sohi Kang, Mary Jasmin Ang, Juhwan Kim, Jong Choon Kim, Sung-Ho Kim, Tae-Il Jeon, Chaeyong Jung, Seung-Soon Im, Changjong Moon
Schizophrenia is a hereditary disease that ~1% of the worldwide population develops. Many studies have investigated possible underlying genes related to schizophrenia. Recently, clinical studies suggested sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) as a susceptibility gene in patients with schizophrenia. SREBP controls cellular lipid homeostasis by three isoforms: SREBP-1a, SREBP-1c, and SREBP-2. This study used SREBP-1c knockout (KO) mice to examine whether a deficiency in SREBP-1c would affect their emotional and psychiatric behaviors...
November 14, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
T P O'Leary, H M Mantolino, K Stover, R E Brown
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that leads to age-related cognitive and sensori-motor dysfunction. There is an increased understanding that motor dysfunction contributes to overall AD severity, and a need to ameliorate these impairments. The 5xFAD mouse develops the neuropathology, cognitive and motor impairments observed in AD, and thus may be a valuable animal model to study motor deficits in AD. Therefore, we assessed age-related changes in motor ability of male and female 5xFAD mice from 3-16 months of age, using a battery of behavioural tests...
November 13, 2018: Genes, Brain, and Behavior
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