Mutations in the Cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) gene cause severe neurodevelopmental disorders. Recently we have generated Cdkl5 KO mice by targeting exon 2 on the C57BL/6N background, and demonstrated postsynaptic overaccumulation of GluN2B-con-taining N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the hippocampus. In the current study, we subjected the Cdkl5 KO mice to a battery of comprehensive behavioral tests, aiming to reveal the effects of loss of CDKL5 in a whole perspective of motor, emotional, social, and cognition/memory functions, and to identify its undetermined roles. The neurological screen, rotarod, hot plate, prepulse inhibition, light/dark transition, open field, elevated plus maze, Porsolt forced swim, tail suspension, one-chamber and three-chamber social interaction, 24-h home cage monitoring, contextual and cued fear conditioning, Barnes maze, and T-maze tests were applied on adult Cdkl5 -/Y and +/Y mice. Cdkl5 -/Y mice showed a mild alteration in the gait. Analyses of emotional behaviors revealed significantly enhanced anxiety-like behaviors of Cdkl5 -/Y mice. Depressive-like behaviors and social interaction of Cdkl5 -/Y mice were uniquely altered. The contextual and cued fear conditioning of Cdkl5 -/Y mice were comparable to control mice; however, Cdkl5 -/Y mice showed a significantly increased freezing time and a significantly decreased distance traveled during the pretone period in the altered context. Both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory were significantly impaired. The morphometric analysis of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons revealed impaired dendritic arborization and immature spine development in Cdkl5 -/Y mice. These results indicate that CDKL5 plays significant roles in regulating emotional behaviors especially on anxiety- and fear-related responses, and in both acquisition and long-term retention of spatial reference memory, which suggests that focus and special attention should be paid to the specific mechanisms of these deficits in the CDKL5 deficiency disorder.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)