Reduced expression of nogo-a leads to motivational deficits in rats
Authors: Enkel T, Berger SM, Schönig K, Tews B, Bartsch D
CellNetworks People: Tews Björn
Journal: Front Behav Neurosci. 2014 Jan 22;8:10. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00010. eCollection 2014

Nogo-A is an important neurite growth-regulatory protein in the adult and developing nervous system. Mice lacking Nogo-A, or rats with neuronal Nogo-A deficiency, exhibit behavioral abnormalities such as impaired short-term memory, decreased pre-pulse inhibition, and behavioral inflexibility. In the current study, we extended the behavioral profile of the Nogo-A deficient rat line with respect to reward sensitivity and motivation, and determined the concentrations of the monoamines dopamine and serotonin in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), dorsal striatum (dSTR), and nucleus accumbens (NAcc). Using a limited access consumption task, we found similar intake of a sweet condensed milk solution following ad libitum or restricted feeding in wild-type and Nogo-A deficient rats, indicating normal reward sensitivity and translation of hunger into feeding behavior. When tested for motivation in a spontaneous progressive ratio task, Nogo-A deficient rats exhibited lower break points and tended to have lower "highest completed ratios." Further, under extinction conditions responding ceased substantially earlier in these rats. Finally, in the PFC we found increased tissue levels of serotonin, while dopamine was unaltered. Dopamine and serotonin levels were also unaltered in the dSTR and the NAcc. In summary, these results suggest a role for Nogo-A regulated processes in motivated behavior and related neurochemistry. The behavioral pattern observed resembles aspects of the negative symptomatology of schizophrenia.