Postnatal TrkB ablation in corticolimbic interneurons induces social dominance in male mice.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The tight balance between synaptic excitation and inhibition (E/I) within neocortical circuits in the mammalian brain is important for complex behavior. Many loss-of-function studies have demonstrated that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its cognate receptor tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) are essential for the development of inhibitory GABAergic neurons. However, behavioral consequences of impaired BDNF/TrkB signaling in GABAergic neurons remain unclear, largely due to confounding motor function deficits observed in previous animal models. In this study, we generated conditional knockout mice (TrkB cKO) in which TrkB was ablated from a majority of corticolimbic GABAergic interneurons postnatally. These mice showed intact motor coordination and movement, but exhibited enhanced dominance over other mice in a group-housed setting. In addition, immature fast-spiking GABAergic neurons of TrkB cKO mice resulted in an E/I imbalance in layer 5 microcircuits within the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a key region regulating social dominance. Restoring the E/I imbalance via optogenetic modulation in the mPFC of TrkB cKO mice normalized their social dominance behavior. Taken together, our results provide strong evidence for a role of BDNF/TrkB signaling in inhibitory synaptic modulation and social dominance behavior in mice.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tan, S; Xiao, Y; Yin, HH; Chen, AI; Soong, TW; Je, HS

Published Date

  • October 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 115 / 42

Start / End Page

  • E9909 - E9915

PubMed ID

  • 30282736

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6196485

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.1812083115


  • eng