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Dusp8 affects hippocampal size and behavior in mice and humans.

Sci Rep. 2019 Dec 20;9(1):19483. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-55527-7.

Authors/Editors: Baumann P, Schriever SC, Kullmann S, Zimprich A, Feuchtinger A, Amarie O, Peter A, Walch A, Gailus-Durner V, Fuchs H, Hrabě de Angelis M, Wurst W, Tschöp MH, Heni M, Hölter SM, Pfluger PT.
Publication Date: 2019

20_baumann

Abstract

Dual-specificity phosphatase 8 (Dusp8) acts as physiological inhibitor for the MAPKs Jnk, Erk and p38 which are involved in regulating multiple CNS processes. While Dusp8 expression levels are high in limbic areas such as the hippocampus, the functional role of Dusp8 in hippocampus morphology, MAPK-signaling, neurogenesis and apoptosis as well as in behavior are still unclear. It is of particular interest whether human carriers of a DUSP8 allelic variant show similar hippocampal alterations to mice. Addressing these questions using Dusp8 WT and KO mouse littermates, we found that KOs suffered from mildly impaired spatial learning, increased locomotor activity and elevated anxiety. Cell proliferation, apoptosis and p38 and Jnk phosphorylation were unaffected, but phospho-Erk levels were higher in hippocampi of the KOs. Consistent with a decreased hippocampus size in Dusp8 KO mice, we found reduced volumes of the hippocampal subregions subiculum and CA4 in humans carrying the DUSP8 allelic variant SNP rs2334499:C > T. Overall, aberrations in morphology and behavior in Dusp8 KO mice and a decrease in hippocampal volume of SNP rs2334499:C > T carriers point to a novel, translationally relevant role of Dusp8 in hippocampus function that warrants further studies on the role of Dusp8 within the limbic network.

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