Selective breeding for high anxiety introduces a synonymous SNP that increases neuropeptide S receptor activity
Slattery, David A.
Naik, Roshan R.
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Neuropeptide S (NPS) has generated substantial interest due to its anxiolytic and fear-attenuating effects in rodents, while a corresponding receptor polymorphism associated with increased NPS receptor (NPSR1) surface expression and efficacy has been implicated in an increased risk of panic disorder in humans. To gain insight into this paradox, we examined the NPS system in rats and mice bred for high anxiety-related behavior (HAB) versus low anxiety-related behavior, and, thereafter, determined the effect of central NPS administration on anxiety- and fear-related behavior. The HAB phenotype was accompanied by lower basal NPS receptor (Npsr1) expression, which we could confirm via in vitro dual luciferase promoter assays. Assessment of shorter Npsr1 promoter constructs containing a sequence mutation that introduces a glucocorticoid receptor transcription factor binding site, confirmed via oligonucleotide pull-down assays, revealed increasedHAB promoter activity—an effect that was prevented by dexamethasone. Analogous to the human NPSR1 risk isoform, functional analysis of a synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism in the coding region of HAB rodents revealed that it caused a higher cAMP response to NPS stimulation.Assessmentof the behavioralconsequenceof these differences revealed that intracerebroventricularNPSreversed thehyperanxiety of HAB rodents as well as the impaired cued-fear extinction in HAB rats and the enhanced fear expression in HAB mice, respectively. These results suggest that alterations in the NPS system, conserved across rodents and humans, contribute to innate anxiety and fear, and that HAB rodents are particularly suited to resolve the apparent discrepancy between the preclinical and clinical findings to date
- Faculty of Health Sciences