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Behav Brain Res. 2006 Nov 1;174(1):167-73. Epub 2006 Sep 6.

Elevated anxiety-like and depressive behavior in Desert hedgehog knockout male mice.

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  • 1Department of Neurology and Geriatrics, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Sakuragaoka 8-35-1, Kagoshima, Japan. umehara@m2.kufm.kagoshima-u.ac.jp


To investigate the functional role of Desert hedgehog (Dhh) gene in the nervous system, we examined motor, sensory, learning and memory functions as well as mood in Dhh knockout (KO) mice. Dhh KO male mice exhibited prolonged immobility time compared with wild-type male mice in the forced swimming test, and showed enhanced inhibition in the Vogel's conflict model. These findings suggest that Dhh KO male mice exhibited enhanced anxiety and depressive behavior compared with wild-type male mice. In contrast, Dhh KO female mice did not show any significant difference compared to wild-type female mice. These behavioral abnormalities of Dhh KO male mice may be due to lower testosterone levels with abnormal development of the testes caused by Dhh-null mutation.

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