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Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2013 Mar-Apr;36:36-46. doi: 10.1016/j.ntt.2012.07.007. Epub 2012 Aug 7.

Disruption of social approach by MK-801, amphetamine, and fluoxetine in adolescent C57BL/6J mice.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. ssmoy@med.unc.edu

Abstract

Autism is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder, diagnosed on the basis of core behavioral symptoms. Although the mechanistic basis for the disorder is not yet known, genetic analyses have suggested a role for abnormal excitatory/inhibitory signaling systems in brain, including dysregulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission. In mice, the constitutive knockdown of NMDA receptors leads to social deficits, repetitive behavior, and self-injurious responses that reflect aspects of the autism clinical profile. However, social phenotypes differ with age: mice with reduced NMDA-receptor function exhibit hypersociability in adolescence, but markedly deficient sociability in adulthood. The present studies determined whether acute disruption of NMDA neurotransmission leads to exaggerated social approach, similar to that observed with constitutive disruption, in adolescent C57BL/6J mice. The effects of MK-801, an NMDA receptor antagonist, were compared with amphetamine, a dopamine agonist, and fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, on performance in a three-chamber choice task. Results showed that acute treatment with MK-801 led to social approach deficits at doses without effects on entry numbers. Amphetamine also decreased social preference, but increased number of entries at every dose. Fluoxetine (10 mg/kg) had selective effects on social novelty preference. Withdrawal from a chronic ethanol regimen decreased activity, but did not attenuate sociability. Low doses of MK-801 and amphetamine were also evaluated in a marble-burying assay for repetitive behavior. MK-801, at a dose that did not disrupt sociability or alter entries, led to a profound reduction in marble-burying. Overall, these findings demonstrate that moderate alteration of NMDA, dopamine, or serotonin function can attenuate social preference in wild type mice.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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PMID:
22898204
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3509253
Free PMC Article

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