JOURNAL ARTICLE

Adult glut3 homozygous null mice survive to demonstrate neural excitability and altered neurobehavioral responses reminiscent of neurodevelopmental disorders

Bo-Chul Shin, Carlos Cepeda, Mason Eghbali, Shin Yun Byun, Michael S Levine, Sherin U Devaskar
Experimental Neurology 2021 January 19, : 113603
33482226
Since GLUT3 is vital for fueling neurotransmission, we examined in-vivo the adult phenotype carrying the conditional homozygous glut3 gene mutation (KO) in glutamate-excitatory neurons. These KO mice demonstrated sex-specific differences in brain and body weights (p = 0.0001 and p = 0.01 each) with reduced GLUT3 protein in cerebral cortices and brain stem (p = 0.005). In patch clamp studies the glut3 KO mice displayed a shorter latency to and enhanced paroxysmal activity (p = 0.01 and p = 0.015 each) in pyramidal neurons upon application of a GABAA antagonist, supporting hyperexcitability. Further, associated changes in neurobehavior consisted of reduced latency to fall in the rotorod motor test related to incoordination, increased distance traveled in total and periphery versus center in open field testing suggesting hyperactivity with anxiety (p = 0.0013 in male, p = 0.045 in female), reduced time freezing reminiscent of disrupted contextual fear conditioning (p = 0.0033), decreased time in target quadrant seen with spatial cognitive memory water maze testing (p = 0.034), and enhanced sociability particularly for novelty reflecting a lack of inhibition/impulsivity (p = 0.038). Some of these features were equally pronounced in males and females (cognitive) while others were seen in females (anxiety and impulsivity). We conclude that GLUT3 in adult glutamate-excitatory neurons is essential for maintaining neurotransmitory equipoise regulating excitation with maintenance of motor coordination and activity, cognition, spatial memory and normal fear for both contextual events and novelty with tempered sociability. While sex-specificity was forthcoming for some of these behaviors, our findings collectively suggest that loss-of-function glut3 gene mutations or polymorphisms may underlie an endophenotype of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.

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