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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014 Nov;24(11):1808-18. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2014.09.011. Epub 2014 Oct 2.

Disruption of the ErbB signaling in adolescence increases striatal dopamine levels and affects learning and hedonic-like behavior in the adult mouse.

Author information

1
Department of Biotechnology Engineering, ORT Braude College, Karmiel, Israel.
2
Psychobiology Research Laboratory, Mazra Mental Health Center, Akko, Israel; Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, Bar-Ilan University, Zefat, Israel.
3
Section on Molecular Neurobiology, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD, USA.
4
Psychobiology Research Laboratory, Mazra Mental Health Center, Akko, Israel; The Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.
5
Psychobiology Research Laboratory, Mazra Mental Health Center, Akko, Israel; The Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. Electronic address: alons@mazra.health.gov.il.

Abstract

The ErbB signaling pathway has been genetically and functionally implicated in schizophrenia. Numerous findings support the dysregulation of Neuregulin (NRG) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling in schizophrenia. However, it is unclear whether alterations of these pathways in the adult brain or during development are involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Herein we characterized the behavioral profile and molecular changes resulting from pharmacologically blocking the ErbB signaling pathway during a critical period in the development of decision making, planning, judgments, emotions, social cognition and cognitive skills, namely adolescence. We demonstrate that chronic administration of the pan-ErbB kinase inhibitor JNJ-28871063 (JNJ) to adolescent mice elevated striatal dopamine levels and reduced preference for sucrose without affecting locomotor activity and exploratory behavior. In adulthood, adolescent JNJ-treated mice continue to consume less sucrose and needed significantly more correct-response trials to reach the learning criterion during the discrimination phase of the T-maze reversal learning task than their saline-injected controls. In addition, JNJ mice exhibited deficit in reference memory but not in working memory as measured in the radial arm maze. Inhibition of the pathway during adolescence did not affect exploratory behavior and locomotor activity in the open field, social interaction, social memory, and reversal learning in adult mice. Our data suggest that alteration of ErbB signaling during adolescence resulted in changes in the dopaminergic systems that emerge in pathological learning and hedonic behavior in adulthood, and pinpoints the possible role of the pathway in the development of cognitive skills and motivated behavior.

KEYWORDS:

Animal behavior; Cognition; Dopaminergic system; ErbB receptor; Neuregulin; Schizophrenia

PMID:
25451700
DOI:
10.1016/j.euroneuro.2014.09.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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