The central serotoninergic system is critical for stress responsivity and social behavior, and its dysregulations have been centrally implicated in virtually all neuropsychiatric disorders. Genetic serotonin depletion animal models could provide a tool to elucidate the causes and mechanisms of diseases and to develop new treatment approaches. Previously, mice lacking tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (Tph2) have been developed, showing altered behaviors and neurotransmission. However, the effect of congenital serotonin deficiency on emotional and social behavior in rats is still largely unknown, as are the underlying mechanisms. In this study, we used a Tph2 knockout (Tph2–/–) male rat model to study how the lack of serotonin in the rat brain affects anxiety-like and social behaviors. Since oxytocin is centrally implicated in these behaviors, we furthermore explored whether the effects of Tph2 knockout on behavior would relate to changes in the oxytocin system. We show that Tph2–/– rats display reduced anxiety-like behavior and a high level of aggression in social interactions. In addition, oxytocin receptor expression was increased in the infralimbic and prelimbic cortices, paraventricular nucleus, dorsal raphe nucleus, and some subregions of the hippocampus, which was paralleled by increased levels of oxytocin in the medial frontal cortex and paraventricular nucleus but not the dorsal raphe nucleus, central amygdala, and hippocampus. In conclusion, our study demonstrated reduced anxiety but exaggerated aggression in Tph2–/– male rats and reveals for the first time a potential involvement of altered oxytocin system function. Meanwhile, the research of oxytocin could be distinguished in almost any psychiatric disorder including anxiety and mental disorders. This research potentially proposes a new target for the treatment of such disorders, from a genetic serotonin deficiency aspect.

Tryptophan Hydroxylase 2 Knockout Male Rats Exhibit a Strengthened Oxytocin System, Are Aggressive, and Are Less Anxious / X. Meng, J. Grandjean, G. Sbrini, P. Schipper, N. Hofwijks, J. Stoop, F. Calabrese, J. Homberg. - In: ACS CHEMICAL NEUROSCIENCE. - ISSN 1948-7193. - (2022), pp. 1-8. [Epub ahead of print] [10.1021/acschemneuro.2c00448]

Tryptophan Hydroxylase 2 Knockout Male Rats Exhibit a Strengthened Oxytocin System, Are Aggressive, and Are Less Anxious

G. Sbrini;F. Calabrese
Penultimo
;
2022

Abstract

The central serotoninergic system is critical for stress responsivity and social behavior, and its dysregulations have been centrally implicated in virtually all neuropsychiatric disorders. Genetic serotonin depletion animal models could provide a tool to elucidate the causes and mechanisms of diseases and to develop new treatment approaches. Previously, mice lacking tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (Tph2) have been developed, showing altered behaviors and neurotransmission. However, the effect of congenital serotonin deficiency on emotional and social behavior in rats is still largely unknown, as are the underlying mechanisms. In this study, we used a Tph2 knockout (Tph2–/–) male rat model to study how the lack of serotonin in the rat brain affects anxiety-like and social behaviors. Since oxytocin is centrally implicated in these behaviors, we furthermore explored whether the effects of Tph2 knockout on behavior would relate to changes in the oxytocin system. We show that Tph2–/– rats display reduced anxiety-like behavior and a high level of aggression in social interactions. In addition, oxytocin receptor expression was increased in the infralimbic and prelimbic cortices, paraventricular nucleus, dorsal raphe nucleus, and some subregions of the hippocampus, which was paralleled by increased levels of oxytocin in the medial frontal cortex and paraventricular nucleus but not the dorsal raphe nucleus, central amygdala, and hippocampus. In conclusion, our study demonstrated reduced anxiety but exaggerated aggression in Tph2–/– male rats and reveals for the first time a potential involvement of altered oxytocin system function. Meanwhile, the research of oxytocin could be distinguished in almost any psychiatric disorder including anxiety and mental disorders. This research potentially proposes a new target for the treatment of such disorders, from a genetic serotonin deficiency aspect.
serotonin; social behavior; affective behavior;
Settore BIO/14 - Farmacologia
5-ott-2022
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/940515
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