* Download comes with a free subscription to our newsletter. You can unsubscribe any time. You will not get duplicate emails if you download more than one report.
From the article:
A/Prof. Je’s team generated transgenic mice in which the TrkB receptor was removed specifically in the GABAergic interneurons in the area of the brain regulating emotional and social behaviour, known as the corticolimbic system. The transgenic mice exhibited unusual aggressive behaviour when housed together with normal mice. To understand the origin of this behaviour, the team conducted behavioural tests. They found that the mice were not being aggressive to protect their territory. They were also not being aggressive because they were stronger; the transgenic mice were injured more than other mice during acts of aggression. Instead, their aggressive behaviour was a result of increased fighting for status and dominance over other mice in the group.
The researchers found that due to the loss of BDNF-TrkB, GABA-ergic interneurons in these transgenic mice supplied weaker inhibition to surrounding excitatory cells, which became overactive. They proceeded to shut down excitatory neurons in a specific area of the transgenic mice brains, which re-established the “excitatory/inhibitory” balance and which “instantaneously reversed the abnormal social dominance,” says Duke-NUS post-doctoral research fellow Dr. Shawn Pang Hao Tan, who was the first author of the paper.