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Open Access Research

Effects of genetic deletion of the Kv4.2 voltage-gated potassium channel on murine anxiety-, fear- and stress-related behaviors

Carly Kiselycznyk1*, Dax A Hoffman2 and Andrew Holmes1

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Behavioral and Genomic Neuroscience, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA

2 Molecular Neurophysiology and Biophysics Unit, Laboratory of Cellular and Synaptic Neurophysiology, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA

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Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders 2012, 2:5  doi:10.1186/2045-5380-2-5

Published: 2 March 2012

Abstract

Background

Potassium channels have been proposed to play a role in mechanisms of neural plasticity, and the Kv4.2 subunit has been implicated in the regulation of action-potential back-propagation to the dendrites. Alterations in mechanisms of plasticity have been further proposed to underlie various psychiatric disorders, but the role of Kv4.2 in anxiety or depression is not well understood.

Methods

In this paper, we analyzed the phenotype Kv4.2 knockout mice based on their neurological function, on a battery of behaviors including those related to anxiety and depression, and on plasticity-related learning tasks.

Results

We found a novelty-induced hyperactive phenotype in knockout mice, and these mice also displayed increased reactivity to novel stimulus such as an auditory tone. No clear anxiety- or depression-related phenotype was observed, nor any alterations in learning/plasticity-based paradigms.

Conclusions

We did not find clear evidence for an involvement of Kv4.2 in neuropsychiatric or plasticity-related phenotypes, but there was support for a role in Kv4.2 in dampening excitatory responses to novel stimuli.