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Brain serotonin deficiency leads to social communication deficits in mice

Item Type:Article
Title:Brain serotonin deficiency leads to social communication deficits in mice
Creators Name:Beis, D. and Holzwarth, K. and Flinders, M. and Mosienko, V. and Bader, M. and Wöhr, M. and Alenina, N.
Abstract:A deficit in brain serotonin is thought to be associated with deteriorated stress coping behaviour, affective disorders and exaggerated violence. We challenged this hypothesis in mice with a brain-specific serotonin depletion caused by a tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) deficiency. We tested TPH2-deficient (Tph2(-/-)) animals in two social situations. As juveniles, Tph2(-/-) mice displayed reduced social contacts, whereas ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) were unchanged within same-sex same-genotype pairings. Interestingly, juvenile females vocalized more than males across genotypes. Sexually naive adult males were exposed to fresh male or female urine, followed by an interaction with a conspecific, and re-exposed to urine. Although Tph2(-/-) mice showed normal sexual preference, they were hyper-aggressive towards their interaction partners and did not vocalize in response to sexual cues. These results highlight that central serotonin is essential for prosocial behaviour, especially USV production in adulthood, but not for sexual preference.
Keywords:Serotonin, TPH2, Ultrasonic Vocalization, Social Behaviour, Aggression, Animals, Mice
Source:Biology Letters
ISSN:1744-9561
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing (U.K.)
Volume:11
Number:3
Page Range:20150057
Date:March 2015
Additional Information:Erratum in: Biol Lett 12(1): 20160002.
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0057
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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