BDNF regulates components of cognitive processes and has been implicated in psychiatric disorders. Here we report that genetic overexpression of the BDNF mature isoform (BDNF-tg) in female mice impaired working memory functions while sparing components of fear conditioning. BDNF-tg mice also displayed reduced breeding efficiency, higher anxiety-like scores, high self-grooming, impaired prepulse inhibition, and higher susceptibility to seizures when placed in a new empty cage, as compared with wild-type (WT) littermate controls. Control measures of general health, locomotor activity, motor coordination, depression-related behaviors, and sociability did not differ between genotypes. The present findings, indicating detrimental effects of life-long increased BDNF in mice, may inform human studies evaluating the role of BDNF functional genetic variations on cognitive abilities and vulnerability to psychiatric disorders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology