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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Altered conditioned fear behavior in glutamate decarboxylase 65 null mutant mice.

We investigated the involvement of the 65 kDa isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase ( GAD65) and GAD65-mediated gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) synthesis in the formation and expression of Pavlovian fear memory. To this end, behavioral, endocrine and autonomic parameters were examined during conditioned fear retrieval of mice with targeted ablation of the GAD65 gene ( GAD65-/- mice). These mutant mice were found to display specific fear behavior (freezing, escape), as well as autonomic (increased defecation) and endocrine activation (increased plasma corticosterone) during fear memory retrieval. However, freezing was reduced and flight and escape behavior were increased in GAD65-/- mice compared to their wild type and heterozygous littermates, while corticosterone levels and defecation rates did not differ between genotypes. Active defensive behavior of GAD65-/- mice was observed during both auditory cued and contextual retrieval of fear memory, as well as immediately after conditioning. These data indicate a selectively altered behavioral fear response in GAD65-/- mice, most likely due to deficits in threat estimation or the elicitation of appropriate conditioned fear behavior, and suggest that GAD65 is a genetic determinant of conditioned fear behavior. GAD65-/- mice provide a valuable tool to further dissect the GABAergic mechanisms involved in fear and anxiety and to model GABA-related neurological and psychiatric disorders.[1]


  1. Altered conditioned fear behavior in glutamate decarboxylase 65 null mutant mice. Stork, O., Yamanaka, H., Stork, S., Kume, N., Obata, K. Genes Brain Behav. (2003) [Pubmed]
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