Schnurri-2 (Shn-2) knockout (KO) mice have been proposed as a preclinical neuroinflammatory schizophrenia model. We used behavioral studies and imaging markers that can be readily translated to human populations to explore brain effects of inflammation. Shn-2 KO mice and their littermate control mice were imaged with two novel PET ligands; an inflammation marker [11C]PBR28 and the mGluR5 ligand [18F]FPEB. Locomotor activity was measured using open field exploration with saline, methamphetamine or amphetamine challenge. A significantly increased accumulation of [11C]PBR28 was found in the cortex, striatum, hippocampus and olfactory bulb of Shn-2 KO mice. Increased mGluR5 binding was also observed in the cortex and hippocampus of the Shn-2 KO mice. Open field locomotor testing revealed a large increase in novelty-induced hyperlocomotion in Shn-2 KO mice with abnormal (decreased) responses to either methamphetamine or amphetamine. These data provide additional support to demonstrate that the Shn-2 KO mouse model exhibits several behavioral and pathological markers resembling human schizophrenia making it an attractive translational model for the disease.
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