Over-expression of deltaC-DCLK-short in mouse brain results in a more anxious behavioral phenotype

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Physiol Behav, Volume 101, Number 4, p.541-548 (2010)


1873-507X (Electronic)00

DOI Name (links to online publication)



Products of the Doublecortin-Like Kinase (DCLK) gene are associated with cortical migration and hippocampal maturation during embryogenesis. However, the functions of those DCLK gene transcripts that encode kinases and are expressed during adulthood are incompletely understood. To elucidate potential functions of these DCLK gene splice variants we have generated and analyzed transgenic mice with neuronal over-expression of a truncated, constitutively active form of DCLK-short, designated deltaC-DCLK-short. Previously, we have performed an extensive molecular characterization of these transgenic deltaC-DCLK-short mice and established that a specific subunit of the GABA(A) receptor, which is involved in anxiety-related GABAergic neurotransmission, is down-regulated in the hippocampus. Here we show that deltaC-DCLK-short mRNA is highly expressed in the hippocampus, cortex and amygdala of transgenic mice. We provide evidence that the deltaC-DCLK-short protein is expressed and functional. In addition, we examined anxiety-related behavior in deltaC-DCLK-short mice in the elevated plus maze. Interestingly, deltaC-DCLK-short mice spend less time, move less in the open arms of the maze and show a reduction in the number of rim dips. These behaviors indicate that deltaC-DCLK-short mice display a more anxious behavioral phenotype.