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BMC neuroscience

Adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated suppression of Ca2+/calmodulin kinase IV activity in the nucleus accumbens modulates emotional behaviour in mice.


PMID 18053176

Abstract

Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CaMKIV) controls activity-dependent gene transcription by regulating the activity of the cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB). This signaling pathway is involved in gating emotional responses in the CNS but previous studies did not address the potential roles of CaMKIV in discrete brain regions. In the present study, we aimed at specifically dissecting the role of CaMKIV in the nucleus accumbens of adult mice. We used recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV)-mediated gene transfer of a dominant-negative CaMKIV variant (rAAV-dnCaMKIV) to inhibit endogenous CaMKIV in the nucleus accumbens. rAAV-dnCaMKIV treated animals were subjected to a battery of tests including, prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response, open field, social interaction and anxiety-related behaviour. We found that basal locomotor activity in the open field, and prepulse inhibition or startle performance were unaltered in mice infected with rAAV-dnCaMKIV in the nucleus accumbens. However, anxiogenic effects were revealed in social interaction testing and the light/dark emergence test. Our findings suggest a modulatory role of CaMKIV in the nucleus accumbens in anxiety-like behaviour but not sensorimotor gating.