Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Transl Psychiatry. 2012 May 29;2:e122. doi: 10.1038/tp.2012.44.

Exaggerated aggression and decreased anxiety in mice deficient in brain serotonin.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Biology of Peptide Hormones, Max-Delbrueck-Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

Serotonin is a major neurotransmitter in the central nervous system (CNS). Dysregulation of serotonin transmission in the CNS is reported to be related to different psychiatric disorders in humans including depression, impulsive aggression and anxiety disorders. The most frequently prescribed antidepressants and anxiolytics target the serotonergic system. However, these drugs are not effective in 20-30% of cases. The causes of this failure as well as the molecular mechanisms involved in the origin of psychological disorders are poorly understood. Biosynthesis of serotonin in the CNS is initiated by tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2). In this study, we used Tph2-deficient (Tph2(-/-)) mice to evaluate the impact of serotonin depletion in the brain on mouse behavior. Tph2(-/-) mice exhibited increased depression-like behavior in the forced swim test but not in the tail suspension test. In addition, they showed decreased anxiety-like behavior in three different paradigms: elevated plus maze, marble burying and novelty-suppressed feeding tests. These phenotypes were accompanied by strong aggressiveness observed in the resident-intruder paradigm. Despite carrying only one copy of the gene, heterozygous Tph2(+/-) mice showed only 10% reduction in brain serotonin, which was not sufficient to modulate behavior in the tested paradigms. Our findings provide unequivocal evidence on the pivotal role of central serotonin in anxiety and aggression.

PMID:
22832966
PMCID:
PMC3365263
DOI:
10.1038/tp.2012.44
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center