PloS one

Assessment of behaviors modeling aspects of schizophrenia in Csmd1 mutant mice.

PMID 23284669


Schizophrenia is a debilitating psychotic disorder that affects up to 1.5% of the population worldwide. Two recent studies in humans identified genome-wide significant associations between schizophrenia and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in an intron of CSMD1. The effect of deleting CSMD1 on mouse behavior is unknown. The present study utilized mice with a mutant Csmd1 allele in which the first exon had been ablated (KO mice). All Csmd1 transcripts that included the first exon were absent in the brains of KO mice, but there was persistent expression of at least one other transcript that does not include the first exon. Wild type (WT), heterozygous (HET), and KO mice were assessed using several well-established behavioral paradigms that model aspects of schizophrenia. Csmd1 KO mice did not differ from wild-type littermates for sensorimotor gating (measured as prepulse inhibition), social interaction, anhedonia (measured by sucrose preference), or sensitivity to the locomotor stimulant effects of the dopaminergic agent d-amphetamine. These data demonstrate that loss of Csmd1 transcripts that include the first exon does not alter multiple well-established behaviors that model aspects of schizophrenia. The SNP most strongly associated with schizophrenia in humans is between exons 3 and 4; therefore, ablation of exon 1 appeared to be a logical animal model. Nevertheless, future studies should consider alternative mouse models including gain-of-function mutations, and loss-of-function mutations that target alternative transcripts of Csmd1.