Differential effects of prenatal and postnatal expressions of mutant human DISC1 on neurobehavioral phenotypes in transgenic mice: evidence for neurodevelopmental origin of major psychiatric disorders

Division of Neurobiology, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.
Molecular Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 15.15). 03/2011; 16(3):293-306. DOI: 10.1038/mp.2009.144
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Strong genetic evidence implicates mutations and polymorphisms in the gene Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) as risk factors for both schizophrenia and mood disorders. Recent studies have shown that DISC1 has important functions in both brain development and adult brain function. We have described earlier a transgenic mouse model of inducible expression of mutant human DISC1 (hDISC1) that acts in a dominant-negative manner to induce the marked neurobehavioral abnormalities. To gain insight into the roles of DISC1 at various stages of neurodevelopment, we examined the effects of mutant hDISC1 expressed during (1) only prenatal period, (2) only postnatal period, or (3) both periods. All periods of expression similarly led to decreased levels of cortical dopamine (DA) and fewer parvalbumin-positive neurons in the cortex. Combined prenatal and postnatal expression produced increased aggression and enhanced response to psychostimulants in male mice along with increased linear density of dendritic spines on neurons of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, and lower levels of endogenous DISC1 and LIS1. Prenatal expression only resulted in smaller brain volume, whereas selective postnatal expression gave rise to decreased social behavior in male mice and depression-like responses in female mice as well as enlarged lateral ventricles and decreased DA content in the hippocampus of female mice, and decreased level of endogenous DISC1. Our data show that mutant hDISC1 exerts differential effects on neurobehavioral phenotypes, depending on the stage of development at which the protein is expressed. The multiple and diverse abnormalities detected in mutant DISC1 mice are reminiscent of findings in major mental diseases.

1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) is a promising candidate susceptibility gene for psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. Several previous studies reported that mice with N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU)-induced L100P mutation in Disc1 showed some schizophrenia-related behavioral phenotypes. This line originally carried several thousands of ENU-induced point mutations in the C57BL/6 J strain and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the DBA/2 J inbred strain. To investigate the effect of Disc1 L100P, background mutations and SNPs on phenotypic characterization, we performed behavioral analyses to better understand phenotypes of Disc1 L100P mice and comprehensive genetic analyses using whole-exome resequencing and SNP panels to map ENU-induced mutations and strain-specific SNPs, respectively. We found no differences in spontaneous or methamphetamine-induced locomotor activity, sociability or social novelty preference among Disc1 L100P/L100P, L100P/+ mutants and wild-type littermates. Whole-exome resequencing of the original G1 mouse identified 117 ENU-induced variants, including Disc1 L100P per se. Two females and three males from the congenic L100P strain after backcrossing to C57BL/6 J were deposited to RIKEN BioResource Center in 2008. We genotyped them with DBA/2 J x C57BL/6 J SNPs and found a number of the checked SNPs still remained. These results suggest that causal attribution of the discrepancy in behavioral variance phenotypes to the Disc1 L100P mutant mouse line existing among different research groups needs to be cautiously investigated in further study by taking into account the effect(s) of other ENU-induced mutations and/or SNPs from DBA/2 J.
    Behavioral and Brain Functions 12/2014; 10(1):45. DOI:10.1186/1744-9081-10-45 · 2.00 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Patients with schizophrenia are at an increased risk for the development of depression. Overlap in the symptoms and genetic risk factors between the two disorders suggests a common etiological mechanism may underlie the presentation of comorbid depression in schizophrenia. Understanding these shared mechanisms will be important in informing the development of new treatments. Rodent models are powerful tools for understanding gene function as it relates to behavior. Examining rodent models relevant to both schizophrenia and depression reveals a number of common mechanisms. Current models which demonstrate endophenotypes of both schizophrenia and depression are reviewed here, including models of CUB and SUSHI multiple domains 1, PDZ and LIM domain 5, glutamate Delta 1 receptor, diabetic db/db mice, neuropeptide Y, disrupted in schizophrenia 1, and its interacting partners, reelin, maternal immune activation, and social isolation. Neurotransmission, brain connectivity, the immune system, the environment, and metabolism emerge as potential common mechanisms linking these models and potentially explaining comorbid depression in schizophrenia.
    Frontiers in Psychiatry 02/2015; 6:13. DOI:10.3389/fpsyt.2015.00013
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder that displays behavioral deficits such as decreased sensory gating, reduced social interaction and working memory deficits. The neurodevelopmental model is one of the widely accepted hypotheses of the etiology of schizophrenia. Subtle developmental abnormalities of the brain which stated long before the onset of clinical symptoms are thought to lead to the emergence of illness. Schizophrenia has strong genetic components but its underlying molecular pathogenesis is still poorly understood. Genetic linkage and association studies have identified several genes involved in neuronal migrations as candidate susceptibility genes for schizophrenia, although their effect size is small. Recent progress in copy number variation studies also has identified much higher risk loci such as 22q11. Based on these genetic findings, we are now able to utilize genetically-defined animal models. Here we summarize the results of neurodevelopmental and behavioral analysis of genetically-defined animal models. Furthermore, animal model experiments have demonstrated that embryonic and perinatal neurodevelopmental insults in neurogenesis and neuronal migrations cause neuronal functional and behavioral deficits in affected adult animals, which are similar to those of schizophrenic patients. However, these findings do not establish causative relationship. Genetically-defined animal models are a critical approach to explore the relationship between neuronal migration abnormalities and behavioral abnormalities relevant to schizophrenia.
    Frontiers in Neuroscience 01/2015; 9:74. DOI:10.3389/fnins.2015.00074

Full-text (3 Sources)

Available from
Jun 1, 2014