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AofA Science Summary: Glutamate carboxypeptidase II and folate deficiencies result in reciprocal protection against cognitive an

Posted Nov 01 2011 12:00am

Science post image Dev Neurobiol. 2011 Nov 10. doi: 10.1002/dneu.21000. [Epub ahead of print]

Glutamate carboxypeptidase II and folate deficiencies result in reciprocal protection against cognitive and social deficits in mice: Implications for neurodevelopmental disorders.

Schaevitz LPicker JRana JKolodny NShane BBerger-Sweeney JCoyle J .


Department of Biology, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155.


Interactions between genetic and environmental risk factors underlie a number of neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia (SZ) and autism (AD). Due to the complexity and multitude of the genetic and environmental factors attributed to these disorders, recent research strategies focus on elucidating the common molecular pathways through which these multiple risk factors may function. In this study, we examine the combined effects of a haplo-insufficiency of glutamate carboxypeptidase II (GCPII) and dietary folic acid deficiency. In addition to serving as a neuropeptidase, GCPII catalyzes the absorption of folate. GCPII and folate depletion interact within the one-carbon metabolic pathway and/or of modulate the glutamatergic system. Four groups of mice were tested: wildtype, GCPII hypomorphs, and wildtypes and GCPII hypomorphs both fed a folate deficient diet. Due to sex differences in the prevalence of SZ and AD, both male and female mice were assessed on a number of behavioral tasks including locomotor activity, rotorod, social interaction, pre-pulse inhibition, and spatial memory. Wildtype mice of both sexes fed a folic acid deficient diet showed motor coordination impairments and cognitive deficits, while social interactions were decreased only in males. GCPII mutant mice of both sexes also exhibited reduced social propensities. In contrast, all folate-depleted GCPII hypomorphs performed similarly to untreated wildtype mice, suggesting that reduced GCPII expression and folate deficiency are mutually protective. Analyses of folate and neurometabolite levels associated with glutamatergic function suggest several potential mechanisms through which GCPII and folate may be interacting to create this protective effect. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol, 2011.

Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Posted by Age of Autism at November 21, 2011 at 5:43 AM in Science Permalink

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