Dysfunction of the noradrenergic (NE) neurons is implicated in the pathogenesis of bipolar disorder (BPD). ErbB4 is highly expressed in NE neurons, and its genetic variation has been linked to BPD; however, how ErbB4 regulates NE neuronal function and contributes to BPD pathogenesis is unclear. Here we find that conditional deletion of ErbB4 in locus coeruleus (LC) NE neurons increases neuronal spontaneous firing through NMDA receptor hyperfunction, and elevates catecholamines in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Furthermore, Erbb4-deficient mice present mania-like behaviors, including hyperactivity, reduced anxiety and depression, and increased sucrose preference. These behaviors are completely rescued by the anti-manic drug lithium or antagonists of catecholaminergic receptors. Our study demonstrates the critical role of ErbB4 signaling in regulating LC-NE neuronal function, reinforcing the view that dysfunction of the NE system may contribute to the pathogenesis of mania-associated disorder.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
- Xiao-Ming Li
- Shu-Xia Cao
- Hong Lian
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the Zhejiang University. The care and use of the mice in this work were reviewed and approved by the Animal Advisory Committee at Zhejiang University (ZJU201553001). Every effort was made to minimize suffering.
- Eunjoon Kim, Institute for Basic Science, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Korea (South), Republic of
© 2018, Cao et al.
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