Emerging roles of Fgf14 in behavioral control

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Abstract

Sexual disturbances, and aggressivity are a major social problem. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the control of these behaviors are largely unknown. FGF14, which is an intracellular protein controlling neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission, has been implied in neurologic and psychiatric disorders. Mice with Fgf14 deletion show blunted responses to drugs of abuse. By behavioral tests we show that male Fgf14 knockout mice have a marked reduction of several behaviors including aggressivity and sexual behavior. Other behaviors driven by spontaneous initiative like burying novel objects and spontaneous digging and climbing are also reduced in Fgf14 knockout mice. These deficits cannot be attributed to a generalized decrease of activity levels, because in the open field test Fgf14 knockout mice have the same spontaneous locomotion as wild types and increased rearing. Our results show that Fgf14 is important to preserve a set of behaviors and suggest that fine tuning of neuronal function by Fgf14 is an important mechanism of control for such behaviors.

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