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Journal Article

NPTX2 is a key component in the regulation of anxiety


Chang,  Simon
RG Molecular Neurogenetics, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;


Deussing,  Jan M.
RG Molecular Neurogenetics, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Chang, S., Bok, P., Tsai, C.-Y., Sun, C.-P., Liu, H., Deussing, J. M., et al. (2018). NPTX2 is a key component in the regulation of anxiety. NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY, 43(9), 1943-1953. doi:10.1038/s41386-018-0091-z.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-5E9E-3
Anxiety disorders significantly impair quality of life. However, limited knowledge of the underlying mechanisms impedes the development of effective therapeutics. Previous studies have suggested that the expression of the Nptx2 gene is associated with anxiety, but the neurobiological processes underlying this association remain unclear. We generated multiple mouse models with knockout or overexpression of Nptx2 in specific brain regions and during different developmental stages to assess anxiety, adult neurogenesis, and glucocorticoid-related gene expression. Our results provide evidence that Nptx2 expression in the adult hippocampus regulates anxiety in mice. Eliminating Nptx2 expression in either the developing mouse brain or in adulthood leads to increased anxiety levels. The increase in anxiety was evident in hippocampus-specific Nptx2 knockout mice, but not in an amygdala specific knockouts. Gene expression analysis revealed increased expression of glucocorticoid receptor target genes in Nptx2 knockout mice after acute stress. Overexpression of Nptx2 in the hippocampus alleviates stress-induced anxious behaviors and reverses the changes in expression of glucocorticoid receptor related genes. In conclusion, we demonstrate that Nptx2 in the hippocampus performs a critical role in modulating anxiety, hippocampal cell proliferation, and glucocorticoid receptor related gene expression. Our results suggest Nptx2 may be a potential target for anxiolytic therapeutics.