In central synapses, synaptobrevin-2 (also called VAMP-2) is the predominant synaptic vesicle SNARE protein that interacts with the plasma membrane SNAREs, SNAP-25 and syntaxin-1 to execute exocytosis. Mice deficient in synaptobrevin-2 or SNAP-25 show embryonic lethality, which precludes investigation of the complete loss-of-function of these proteins in the adult nervous system. However, mice that carry heterozygous null mutations survive into adulthood and are fertile. In order to elucidate how loss-of-function mutations in these proteins may result in human disease phenotypes it is important to develop bona fide animal models. Therefore, given the importance of these two critical SNAREs in central synaptic transmission and their association with several neurological or neuropsychiatric disorders, we performed a comprehensive behavioral analysis of SNAP-25 heterozygous null (SNAP-25+/−) mice as well as the synaptobrevin-2 heterozygous null (+/−) mice. This analysis revealed only mild phenotypes, SNAP-25 (+/−) mice exhibited marked hypoactivity, whereas synaptobrevin-2 (+/−) mice showed enhanced performance on the rotarod. The two mouse lines did not manifest significant deficits in anxiety-related behaviors, learning and memory measures, or prepulse inhibition. The rather mild behavioral deficits indicate that these key proteins, SNAP25 and synaptobrevin-2, are expressed in excess to circumvent the impact of potential fluctuations in expression levels on nervous system function.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Accepted/In press - Jan 1 2018|
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