The transcription factor NURR1 is essential to the generation and maintenance of midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons and its deregulation is involved in the development of dopamine (DA)-associated brain disorders, such as Parkinson's disease (PD). The old male NURR1 heterozygous knockout (NURR1-KO) mouse has been proposed as a model of PD due to its altered motor performance that was, however, not confirmed in a subsequent study. Based on these controversial results, we explored the effects of the NURR1 deficiency on locomotor activity, motor coordination, brain and plasma DA levels, blood pressure and heart rate of old mice, also focusing on the potential effect of sex. As a probable consequence of the role of NURR1 in DA pathway, we observed that the old NURR1-KO mouse is characterized by motor impairment, and increased brain DA level and heart rate, independently from sex. However, we also observed an alteration in spontaneous locomotor activity that only affects males. In conclusion, NURR1 deficiency triggers sex- and age-specific alterations of behavioral responses, of DA levels and cardiovascular abnormalities. Further studies in simplified systems will be necessary to dissect the mechanism underlying these observations.

NURR1-deficient mice have age- and sex-specific behavioral phenotypes

Montarolo F.
First
;
Martire S.;Allegra S.;De Francia S.;Hoxha E.;Tempia F.;Capobianco M. A.;Bertolotto A.
Last
2022-01-01

Abstract

The transcription factor NURR1 is essential to the generation and maintenance of midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons and its deregulation is involved in the development of dopamine (DA)-associated brain disorders, such as Parkinson's disease (PD). The old male NURR1 heterozygous knockout (NURR1-KO) mouse has been proposed as a model of PD due to its altered motor performance that was, however, not confirmed in a subsequent study. Based on these controversial results, we explored the effects of the NURR1 deficiency on locomotor activity, motor coordination, brain and plasma DA levels, blood pressure and heart rate of old mice, also focusing on the potential effect of sex. As a probable consequence of the role of NURR1 in DA pathway, we observed that the old NURR1-KO mouse is characterized by motor impairment, and increased brain DA level and heart rate, independently from sex. However, we also observed an alteration in spontaneous locomotor activity that only affects males. In conclusion, NURR1 deficiency triggers sex- and age-specific alterations of behavioral responses, of DA levels and cardiovascular abnormalities. Further studies in simplified systems will be necessary to dissect the mechanism underlying these observations.
2022
100
9
1747
1754
https://doi.org/10.1002/jnr.25067
NURR1; Parkinson's disease; dopamine; locomotion; motor impairment; murine model
Montarolo F.; Martire S.; Chiara F.; Allegra S.; De Francia S.; Hoxha E.; Tempia F.; Capobianco M.A.; Bertolotto A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1870165
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