Genetic inactivation of D-amino acid oxidase enhances extinction and reversal learning in mice

Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto M5G 1X5, Canada.
Learning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) (Impact Factor: 4.38). 02/2009; 16(1):28-37. DOI: 10.1101/lm.1112209
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Activation of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) glycine site has been shown to accelerate adaptive forms of learning that may benefit psychopathologies involving cognitive and perseverative disturbances. In this study, the effects of increasing the brain levels of the endogenous NMDAR glycine site agonist D-serine, through the genetic inactivation of its catabolic enzyme D-amino acid oxidase (DAO), were examined in behavioral tests of learning and memory. In the Morris water maze task (MWM), mice carrying the hypofunctional Dao1(G181R) mutation demonstrated normal acquisition of a single platform location but had substantially improved memory for a new target location in the subsequent reversal phase. Furthermore, Dao1(G181R) mutant animals exhibited an increased rate of extinction in the MWM that was similarly observed following pharmacological administration of D-serine (600 mg/kg) in wild-type C57BL/6J mice. In contextual and cued fear conditioning, no alterations were found in initial associative memory recall; however, extinction of the contextual fear memory was facilitated in mutant animals. Thus, an augmented level of D-serine resulting from reduced DAO activity promotes adaptive learning in response to changing conditions. The NMDAR glycine site and DAO may be promising therapeutic targets to improve cognitive flexibility and inhibitory learning in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and anxiety syndromes.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: d-Amino acid oxidase (DAAO) catalyzes the oxidative deamination of d-amino acids including d-serine, a full agonist at the glycine modulatory site of the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. To evaluate the significance of DAAO-mediated metabolism in the pharmacokinetics of oral d-serine, plasma d-serine levels were measured in both wild-type mice and transgenic mice lacking DAAO. Although d-serine levels were rapidly diminished in wild-type mice (t(½) = 1.2 h), sustained drug levels over the course of 4 h (t(½) > 10 h) were observed in mice lacking DAAO. Coadministration of d-serine with 6-chlorobenzo[d]isoxazol-3-ol (CBIO), a small-molecule DAAO inhibitor, in wild-type mice resulted in the enhancement of plasma d-serine levels, although CBIO seems to have only temporary effects on the plasma d-serine levels due to glucuronidation of the key hydroxyl group. These findings highlight the predominant role of DAAO in the clearance of d-serine from the systemic circulation. Thus, a potent DAAO inhibitor with a longer half-life should be capable of maintaining high plasma d-serine levels over a sustained period of time and might have therapeutic implications for the treatment of schizophrenia.
    Drug metabolism and disposition: the biological fate of chemicals 07/2012; 40(11):2067-73. DOI:10.1124/dmd.112.046482 · 3.33 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy 06/2011; 42(2). DOI:10.1007/s10879-011-9195-z
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The development of sophisticated, translatable mouse-based assays modeling the behavioral manifestations of neuropsychiatric diseases, such as schizophrenia, has lagged the advances in molecular and genomic techniques. Our laboratory has made efforts to fill this gap by investing in the development of novel assays, including adapting a touchscreen-based method for measuring cognitive and executive functions for use in mice. As part of these efforts, a recent study by Brigman et al. (2009) investigated the effects of subchronic phencyclidine treatment on mouse touchscreen-based pairwise visual discrimination and reversal learning. Here, we summarize the results of that study, and place them in the larger context of ongoing efforts to develop valid mouse "models" of schizophrenia, with a focus on reversal learning and other measures of cognitive flexibility. Touchscreen-based systems could provide a tractable platform for fully utilizing the mouse to elucidate the pathophysiology of cognitive inflexibility in schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders.
    Frontiers in Neuroscience 05/2010; 4. DOI:10.3389/neuro.01.013.2010


Available from