Image_1_Depression-/Anxiety-Like Behavior Alterations in Adult Slit2 Transgenic Mice.TIF (170.22 kB)
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posted on 05.02.2021, 04:37 by Guilan Huang, Sheng Wang, Jie Yan, Changxi Li, Jianwen Feng, Qi Chen, Xiaomeng Zheng, Huimin Li, Yajun He, Andrew J. Young, Haobin Li, Weidong Li, Jiangchao Li, Lijing Wang

Background: Slit2 is a member of the Slit family of secreted glycoproteins that plays highly conserved roles in neuronal axon guidance and cellular migration. Our previous experimental results showed Alzheimer's disease-like alterations and increased permeability of the blood–brain barrier in Slit2-overexpressing transgenic (Slit2-Tg) mice aged 8–9 months. Nevertheless, relatively little is known about behavioral alterations in adult Slit2-Tg mice (2–6 months of age). To observe the age-related behavioral effects of Slit2 overexpression in adult mice, we performed a battery of behavioral tests with adult Slit2-Tg mice at 2–6 months of age.

Results: The body weight of Slit2-Tg mice was lower than that of the wild-type mice from 15 weeks of age. Compared with the control mice, depression-like behaviors were found in Slit2-Tg mice from 15 to 21 weeks of age in the sucrose preference test, although Slit2-Tg mice were hyperactive in the tail suspension test. The anxiety-like behaviors were found in Slit2-Tg mice in the open field test, as well as increased locomotor activity. The anxiety-like behaviors were also found in adult Slit2-Tg mice in the elevated plus maze. Compared to wild-type mice at 23 weeks old, impairment of the hippocampal neurons were found in Slit2-Tg mice at the same age in hematoxylin–eosin staining (H&E), including some eccentric dispersion and expansion of neuronal bodies. In addition, the messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of TNF-α was elevated in the hippocampus of adult Slit2-Tg mice.

Conclusions: Slit2 overexpression causes depression-/anxiety-like behaviors in adult mice that may be related to an increase in inflammatory factors and damage to hippocampal neurons.

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