A lack of functional NK1 receptors explains most, but not all, abnormal behaviours of NK1R-/- mice(1).
Porter AJ., Pillidge K., Tsai YC., Dudley JA., Hunt SP., Peirson SN., Brown LA., Stanford SC.
Mice lacking functional neurokinin-1 receptors (NK1R-/-) display abnormal behaviours seen in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattentiveness). These abnormalities were evident when comparing the behaviour of separate (inbred: 'Hom') wildtype and NK1R-/- mouse strains. Here, we investigated whether the inbreeding protocol could influence their phenotype by comparing the behaviour of these mice with that of wildtype (NK1R+/+) and NK1R-/- progeny of heterozygous parents ('Het', derived from the same inbred strains). First, we recorded the spontaneous motor activity of the two colonies/genotypes, over 7 days. This continuous monitoring also enabled us to investigate whether the diurnal rhythm in motor activity differs in the two colonies/genotypes. NK1R-/- mice from both colonies were hyperactive compared with their wildtypes and their diurnal rhythm was also disrupted. Next, we evaluated the performance of the four groups of mice in the 5-Choice Serial Reaction-Time Task (5-CSRTT). During training, NK1R-/- mice from both colonies expressed more impulsive and perseverative behaviour than their wildtypes. During testing, only NK1R-/- mice from the Hom colony were more impulsive than their wildtypes, but NK1R-/- mice from both colonies were more perseverative. There were no colony differences in inattentiveness. Moreover, a genotype difference in this measure depended on time of day. We conclude that the hyperactivity, perseveration and, possibly, inattentiveness of NK1R-/- mice is a direct consequence of a lack of functional NK1R. However, the greater impulsivity of NK1R-/- mice depended on an interaction between a functional deficit of NK1R and other (possibly environmental and/or epigenetic) factors.