The Balb/c mouse strain shows quantitative deficits of sociability and is behaviorally-hypersensitive to MK-801 (dizocilpine), a noncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonist. D-Serine (560mg/kg, intraperitoneally), a full agonist for the obligatory glycine co-agonist binding site on the NMDA receptor, increased the amount of time Balb/c mice spend in a compartment containing the enclosed social stimulus mouse and the amount of time Balb/c mice spend exploring (sniffing) an inverted cup containing the enclosed social stimulus mouse in a standard sociability apparatus. These effects of D-serine on the impaired sociability of the Balb/c mouse strain were not due to a "nonspecific" effect on locomotor activity; importantly, the locomotor activity of the Balb/c mouse strain decreases in the presence of an enclosed or freely-moving social stimulus mouse. The data suggest that dimensions of the impaired sociability of the Balb/c mouse strain may be improved by targeted NMDA receptor agonist interventions.
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