Effects of Npas4 deficiency on anxiety, depression-like, cognition and sociability behaviour Academic Article uri icon


  • The transcription factor neuronal PAS domain-containing protein 4 (Npas4), which regulates the formation of inhibitory synapses on excitatory neurons, has been suggested as a candidate gene for neurological and psychiatric conditions such as bipolar depression, autism spectrum and cognitive disorders. A mouse model of Npas4 deficiency has been developed to investigate any role in these disorders. Behavioural characterisation of Npas4(-/-), Npas4(+/-) and Npas4(+/+) mice has been conducted using the open field, elevated zero maze (EZM), Y-maze, sociability test and forced swim test (FST) to investigate a range of behaviours. Npas4(-/-) mice spent more time in the open arm of the EZM than other genotypes, suggesting decreased anxiety-like behaviour. Npas4(+/-) mice, however, were more immobile in the FST than other genotypes, suggesting increased depression-like behaviour, and also showed impaired spatial recognition memory in the Y-maze. There were no differences between genotype in social behaviour. These results suggest that differential levels of Npas4 expression in the brain may regulate anxiety, depression and cognition related disorders.


publication date

  • 2015