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Male and female mice lacking Neuroligin-3 modify the behavior of their wild-type littermates

Kalbassi, Shireene, Bachmann, Sven O., Cross, Ellen, Roberton, Victoria H. and Baudouin, Stephane J. 2017. Male and female mice lacking Neuroligin-3 modify the behavior of their wild-type littermates. eNeuro 4 (4) , pp. 1-14. 10.1523/ENEURO.0145-17.2017

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Abstract

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

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Society for Neuroscience: eNeuro
ISSN: 2373-2822
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 August 2017
Date of Acceptance: 9 July 2017
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2020 13:48
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/103664

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