Behavioral and neurochemical phenotyping of Homer1 mutant mice: Possible relevance to schizophrenia

K. K. Szumlinski, K. D. Lominac, M. J. Kleschen, E. B. Oleson, M. H. Dehoff, M. K. Schwartz, P. H. Seeberg, P. F. Worley, P. W. Kalivas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Homer proteins are involved in the functional assembly of postsynaptic density proteins at glutamatergic synapses and are implicated in learning, memory and drug addiction. Here, we report that Homer1-knockout (Homer1-KO) mice exhibit behavioral and neurochemical abnormalities that are consistent with the animal models of schizophrenia. Relative to wild-type mice, Homer1-KO mice exhibited deficits in radial arm maze performance, impaired prepulse inhibition, enhanced 'behavioral despair', increased anxiety in a novel objects test, enhanced reactivity to novel environments, decreased instrumental responding for sucrose and enhanced MK-801- and methamphetamine-stimulated motor behavior. No-net-flux in vivo microdialysis revealed a decrease in extracellular glutamate content in the nucleus accumbens and an increase in the prefrontal cortex. Moreover, in Homer1-KO mice, cocaine did not stimulate a rise in frontal cortex extracellular glutamate levels, suggesting hypofrontality. These behavioral and neurochemical data derived from Homer1 mutant mice are consistent with the recent association of schizophrenia with a single-nucleotide polymorphism in the Homer1 gene and suggest that the regulation of extracellular levels of glutamate within limbo-corticostriatal structures by Homer1 gene products may be involved in the pathogenesis of this neuropsychiatric disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-288
Number of pages16
JournalGenes, Brain and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Animal model
  • Depression
  • Glutamate
  • Homer proteins
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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