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Influence of sex and genetic background on anxiety-related and stress-induced behaviour of prodynorphin-deficient mice


The role of dynorphin/kappa opioid receptors in epilepsy and addiction are well accepted, but their function in emotional control is not yet fully understood. Data obtained from different strains of prodynorphin (Pdyn)- and kappa opioid receptor (KOP)-deficient mice do not provide a consistent picture of the functions of Dyn/KOP in anxiety, suggesting the influence of testing conditions and/or genetic background. Therefore, we investigated the behaviour and neurochemistry of male and female Pdyn KO mice on the balb/c and C57Bl/6N background. Consistent with our results obtained from male mice on the C57bl/6N background, we observed a less anxious phenotype in the elevated plus maze, open-field and light-dark test in male mice on the balb/c background. Female mice on the balb/c background also displayed less anxiety like behaviour; however these data reflect high trait anxiety and inter-individual differences. In contrast, female mice on the C57Bl/6N background displayed low trait anxiety and a paradigm-dependent reduction of anxiety. No differences were observed in the forced swim test, while balb/c Pdyn KO mice displayed prolonged immobility in the tail suspension test. In line with our previous results, we observed reduced CRH mRNA in the central amygdala in all groups of mice. In contrast, the recently observed CRH mRNA reduction in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus appears restricted to male, but not female mice. Our data support previous data suggesting a pronounced impact of endogenous prodynorphin-derived peptides on anxiety. Moreover, our data support the idea that the less anxious phenotype manifests only at elevated stress levels.

Type Journal
Authors Kastenberger, I.; Lutsch, C.; Herzog, H.; Schwarzer, C.
Publisher Name PLoS One
Published Date 2012-11-01
Published Volume 7
Published Issue 3
Published Pages e34251
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0034251
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version