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Genes Brain Behav. 2005 Jul;4(5):273-88.

Behavioral and neurochemical phenotyping of Homer1 mutant mice: possible relevance to schizophrenia.

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Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.

Erratum in

  • Genes Brain Behav. 2005 Nov;4(8):486. Schwartz, MK [corrected to Schwarz, MK]; Seeberg, PH [corrected to Seeburg, PH].


Homer proteins are involved in the functional assembly of postsynaptic density proteins at glutamatergic synapses and are implicated in learning, memory and drug addiction. Here, we report that Homer1-knockout (Homer1-KO) mice exhibit behavioral and neurochemical abnormalities that are consistent with the animal models of schizophrenia. Relative to wild-type mice, Homer1-KO mice exhibited deficits in radial arm maze performance, impaired prepulse inhibition, enhanced 'behavioral despair', increased anxiety in a novel objects test, enhanced reactivity to novel environments, decreased instrumental responding for sucrose and enhanced MK-801- and methamphetamine-stimulated motor behavior. No-net-flux in vivo microdialysis revealed a decrease in extracellular glutamate content in the nucleus accumbens and an increase in the prefrontal cortex. Moreover, in Homer1-KO mice, cocaine did not stimulate a rise in frontal cortex extracellular glutamate levels, suggesting hypofrontality. These behavioral and neurochemical data derived from Homer1 mutant mice are consistent with the recent association of schizophrenia with a single-nucleotide polymorphism in the Homer1 gene and suggest that the regulation of extracellular levels of glutamate within limbo-corticostriatal structures by Homer1 gene products may be involved in the pathogenesis of this neuropsychiatric disorder.

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