Disrupted-in-schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) has been widely associated with several psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, mood disorders and autism. We previously reported that a deficiency of DISC1 may induce low anxiety and/or high impulsivity in mice with disruption of exons 2 and 3 of the Disc1 gene (Disc1Δ2-3/Δ2- 3). It remains unclear, however, if deficiency of DISC1 leads to specific alterations in distinct neuronal systems. In the present study, to understand the role of DISC1 in γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) interneurons and mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons, we investigated the number of parvalbumin (PV)-positive interneurons, methamphetamine (METH)-induced DA release and the expression levels of GABAA, DA transporter (DAT) and DA receptors in wild-type (Disc1+/+) and Disc1 Δ2-3/Δ2-3 mice. Female Disc1Δ2-3/Δ2 -3 mice showed a significant reduction of PV-positive interneurons in the hippocampus, while no apparent changes were observed in mRNA expression levels of GABAA receptor subunits. METH-induced DA release was significantly potentiated in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of female Disc1Δ2-3/Δ2- 3 mice, although there were no significant differences in the expression levels of DAT. Furthermore, the expression levels of DA receptor mRNA were upregulated in the NAc of female Disc1Δ2- 3/Δ2-3 mice. Male Disc1 Δ2-3/Δ2-3 mice showed no apparent differences in all experiments. DISC1 may play a critical role in gender-specific developmental alteration in GABAergic inhibitory interneurons and DAergic neurons.
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