Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience : JPN

Persistent gating deficit and increased sensitivity to NMDA receptor antagonism after puberty in a new mouse model of the human 22q11.2 microdeletion syndrome: a study in male mice.

PMID 27391101


The hemizygous 22q11.2 microdeletion is a common copy number variant in humans. The deletion confers high risk for neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and schizophrenia. Up to 41% of deletion carriers experience psychotic symptoms. We present a new mouse model (Df(h22q11)/+) of the deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) and report on, to our knowledge, the most comprehensive study undertaken to date in 22q11.2DS models. The study was conducted in male mice. We found elevated postpubertal N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist-induced hyperlocomotion, age-independent prepulse inhibition (PPI) deficits and increased acoustic startle response (ASR). The PPI deficit and increased ASR were resistant to antipsychotic treatment. The PPI deficit was not a consequence of impaired hearing measured by auditory brain stem responses. The Df(h22q11)/+ mice also displayed increased amplitude of loudness-dependent auditory evoked potentials. Prefrontal cortex and dorsal striatal elevations of the dopamine metabolite DOPAC and increased dorsal striatal expression of the AMPA receptor subunit GluR1 was found. The Df(h22q11)/+ mice did not deviate from wild-type mice in a wide range of other behavioural and biochemical assays. The 22q11.2 microdeletion has incomplete penetrance in humans, and the severity of disease depends on the complete genetic makeup in concert with environmental factors. In order to obtain more marked phenotypes reflecting the severe conditions related to 22q11.2DS it is suggested to expose the Df(h22q11)/+ mice to environmental stressors that may unmask latent psychopathology. The Df(h22q11)/+ model will be a valuable tool for increasing our understanding of the etiology of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders associated with the 22q11DS.

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Veratridine, ≥90% (HPLC), powder