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

Altered social behavior in pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide type I receptor-deficient mice.

The olfactory bulb plays a critical role in odor discrimination and in processing olfactory cues controlling social behavior in mammals. Given that the pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) type 1 receptor ( PAC1) is highly expressed in the olfactory bulb, we examined its role in regulating olfaction and social investigation. We found that olfactory detection of nonsocial stimuli was similar in PAC1-deficient mice and wild-type (WT) littermates. In contrast, PAC1-deficient mice displayed markedly abnormal social behaviors. PAC1-deficient mice exhibited a faster decrease in social investigation after repeated exposure to social cues or ovariectomized female urine compared with WT mice. Moreover, PAC1-deficient females exhibited delayed affiliative behavior when housed with novel males, and PAC1-deficient males displayed excessive sexual mounting toward both females and males as well as reduced aggression and increased licking and grooming toward intruder males. In aggregate, these results uncover PAC1 signaling as an important factor in the development and/or functioning of neural pathways associated with pheromone processing and the regulation of social interactions in mice. In turn, these studies raise the potential clinical relevance of PACAP signaling dysfunctions in neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by social reciprocity impairments such as autism spectrum disorders.[1]


  1. Altered social behavior in pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide type I receptor-deficient mice. Nicot, A., Otto, T., Brabet, P., Dicicco-Bloom, E.M. J. Neurosci. (2004) [Pubmed]
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