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Male and Female Mice Lacking Neuroligin-3 Modify the Behavior of Their Wild-Type Littermates

Kalbassi, S; Bachmann, SO; Cross, E; Roberton, VH; Baudouin, SJ; (2017) Male and Female Mice Lacking Neuroligin-3 Modify the Behavior of Their Wild-Type Littermates. eNeuro , 4 (4) , Article e0145-17.2017. 10.1523/ENEURO.0145-17.2017. Green open access

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Abstract

In most mammals, including humans, the postnatal acquisition of normal social and nonsocial behavior critically depends on interactions with peers. Here we explore the possibility that mixed-group housing of mice carrying a deletion of Nlgn3, a gene associated with autism spectrum disorders, and their wild-type littermates induces changes in each other's behavior. We have found that, when raised together, male Nlgn3 knockout mice and their wild-type littermates displayed deficits in sociability. Moreover, social submission in adult male Nlgn3 knockout mice correlated with an increase in their anxiety. Re-expression of Nlgn3 in parvalbumin-expressing cells in transgenic animals rescued their social behavior and alleviated the phenotype of their wild-type littermates, further indicating that the social behavior of Nlgn3 knockout mice has a direct and measurable impact on wild-type animals' behavior. Finally, we showed that, unlike male mice, female mice lacking Nlgn3 were insensitive to their peers' behavior but modified the social behavior of their littermates. Altogether, our findings show that the environment is a critical factor in the development of behavioral phenotypes in transgenic and wild-type mice. In addition, these results reveal that the social environment has a sexually dimorphic effect on the behavior of mice lacking Nlgn3, being more influential in males than females.

Type: Article
Title: Male and Female Mice Lacking Neuroligin-3 Modify the Behavior of Their Wild-Type Littermates
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0145-17.2017
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1523/ENEURO.0145-17.2017
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed.
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorders, neuroligin, parvalbumin interneurons, social behavior
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > Pharmacology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10037755
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