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Adolescent behavioral abnormalities in a Scn1a+/- mouse model of Dravet syndrome.

Epilepsy Behav. 2020 02;103(Pt A):106842

Authors: Bahceci D, Anderson LL, Occelli Hanbury Brown CV, Zhou C, Arnold JC

Dravet syndrome is an intractable pediatric epilepsy associated with SCN1A mutations. In addition to having a large seizure burden and a reduced lifespan, patients with Dravet syndrome also exhibit delays in reaching normal developmental milestones in attentional, emotional, and cognitive function. These developmental delays manifest in autistic-like social withdrawal and compulsive behavior. Additionally, cognitive impairments including deficits in sensorimotor processing and memory function are present. Several mouse models utilizing heterozygous deletion of Scn1a (Scn1a+/- mice) have been generated that recapitulate many aspects of Dravet syndrome. Studies in these mouse models of Dravet syndrome have characterized behavioral phenotypes in adult mice. In the present study, we characterized the behavioral phenotype of Scn1a+/- mice generated by targeted deletion of Scn1a exon 1 (Scn1atm1Kea) during adolescence. Identifying behavioral deficits in adolescent mice would more closely model the early onset of attentional, emotional, and cognitive delays observed in patients with Dravet syndrome. The behaviors of adolescent Scn1a+/- and wildtype (WT) mice were compared across several behavioral domains. We assessed motor function (open-field test), sociability and social recognition memory (three-chambered social preference and social interaction tests), memory function (novel object recognition, Barnes maze, fear conditioning paradigm), anxiety-related behavior (elevated plus maze and open-field thigmotaxis), startle reflex and sensorimotor gating (prepulse inhibition of startle (PPI) tests), and repetitive compulsive behavior (marble burying test). Adolescent Scn1a+/- mice exhibited normal locomotor activity, marble burying behavior, sociability, and sensorimotor gating. However, adolescent Scn1a+/- mice displayed increased anxiety-related thigmotactic behavior, atypical fear expression, blunted acoustic startle responses, and impaired social recognition and spatial memory. Our results show that Scn1a+/- mice display various behavioral impairments during adolescence, which provides a foundation for testing early intervention therapies targeting developmental delays modeled in Dravet syndrome mice.

PMID: 31870807 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Source: ncbi 2

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