Genetic reduction of group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors alters select behaviors in a mouse model for fragile X syndrome

Behav Brain Res. 2011 Oct 1;223(2):310-21. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2011.04.049. Epub 2011 May 6.


Introduction: Genetic heterogeneity likely contributes to variability in the symptoms among individuals with fragile X syndrome (FXS). Studies in the Fmr1 knockout (KO) mouse model for FXS suggest that excessive signaling through group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (Gp1 mGluRs), comprised of subtypes mGluR1 and mGluR5, may play a role. Hence, Gp1 mGluRs may act as modifiers of FXS. Currently no studies have addressed whether manipulation of mGluR1 activity may alter Fmr1 KO behavioral responses, and only a few have reported the effects of mGluR5 manipulation. Therefore, the goals for this study were to extend our understanding of the effects of modulating Gp1 mGluR activity on Fmr1 KO behavioral responses.

Methods: The present study determined if genetically reducing mGluR1 or mGluR5 by 50% affects an extensive array of behaviors in the Fmr1 KO.

Results: Reduction of mGluR1 moderately decreased Fmr1 KO activity. Reduction of mGluR5 caused an analgesic response in the Fmr1 KO and decreased active social behavior. Modulation of either mGluR1 or mGluR5 did not significantly alter audiogenic seizures, anxiety- and perseverative-related responses, sensorimotor gating, memory, or motor responses.

Conclusions: Genetic reduction of mGluR1 or mGluR5 modified a few select Fmr1 KO behaviors, although these modifications appeared to be subtle in nature and/or limited to select behaviors. This may indicate that 50% reduction of either mGluR1 or mGluR5 is insufficient to produce behavioral changes, and therefore, these receptors may not be dominant modifiers of a number of Fmr1 KO behavioral phenotypes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Conditioning, Psychological
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epilepsy, Reflex / genetics
  • Epilepsy, Reflex / psychology
  • Exploratory Behavior / physiology
  • Fear / psychology
  • Female
  • Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein / genetics
  • Fragile X Syndrome / genetics*
  • Fragile X Syndrome / psychology*
  • Genotype
  • Hot Temperature
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Pain Measurement / psychology
  • Postural Balance / genetics
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Receptor, Metabotropic Glutamate 5
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / genetics*
  • Reflex, Startle / physiology
  • Testis / anatomy & histology
  • Testis / physiology


  • Fmr1 protein, mouse
  • Grm5 protein, mouse
  • Receptor, Metabotropic Glutamate 5
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor type 1
  • Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein