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

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Didriksen, Michael 
Fejgin, Kim 
Nilsson, Simon 
Birknow, Michelle 
Grayton, Hannah 


Background: The hemizygous 22q11.2 micro-deletion is a common copy number variant in humans. The deletion confers high risk of neurodevelopmental disorders including autism and schizophrenia. Up to 41% of deletion carriers experience psychotic symptoms. Methods: We present a new mouse model (Df(h22q11)/+) of the deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) and report on the most comprehensive study undertaken in 22q11.2DS models. The study was conducted in male mice. Results: We found elevated post-pubertal NMDA receptor antagonist induced hyper-locomotion, age-independent prepulse inhibition (PPI) deficits and increased acoustic startle response (ASR). The PPI deficit and increased ASR was 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 (DStr) elevations of the dopamine metabolite DOPAC and increased DStr 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. Limitations: The 22q11.2 micro-deletion 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 which may unmask latent psychopathology. Conclusion: The Df(h22q11)/+ model will be a valuable tool for increasing our understanding of the aetiology of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders associated with the 22q11DS.



3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid, Aging, Animals, Auditory Perception, Corpus Striatum, DiGeorge Syndrome, Disease Models, Animal, Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem, Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists, Male, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Motor Activity, Prefrontal Cortex, Receptors, AMPA, Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate, Reflex, Startle, Sensory Gating

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Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience

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Canadian Medical Association
The research leading to these results was conducted as part of NEWMEDS and received support from the Innovative Medicine Initiative Joint Undertaking under grant agreement n° 115008 of which resources are composed of EFPIA in-kind contribution and financial contribution from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013). This work was further supported by grants from the Danish Advanced Technology Foundation (File no. 001-2009-2) and by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental (CIBERSAM).