Lack of tryptophan hydroxylase-1 in mice results in gait abnormalities

PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59032. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059032. Epub 2013 Mar 14.


The role of peripheral serotonin in nervous system development is poorly understood. Tryptophan hydroxylase-1 (TPH1) is expressed by non-neuronal cells including enterochromaffin cells of the gut, mast cells and the pineal gland and is the rate-limiting enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of peripheral serotonin. Serotonin released into circulation is taken up by platelets via the serotonin transporter and stored in dense granules. It has been previously reported that mouse embryos removed from Tph1-deficient mothers present abnormal nervous system morphology. The goal of this study was to assess whether Tph1-deficiency results in behavioral abnormalities. We did not find any differences between Tph1-deficient and wild-type mice in general motor behavior as tested by rotarod, grip-strength test, open field and beam walk. However, here we report that Tph1 (-/-) mice display altered gait dynamics and deficits in rearing behavior compared to wild-type (WT) suggesting that tryptophan hydroxylase-1 expression has an impact on the nervous system.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Gait / genetics*
  • Gait / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Tryptophan Hydroxylase / deficiency*
  • Tryptophan Hydroxylase / genetics


  • Serotonin
  • Tph1 protein, mouse
  • Tryptophan Hydroxylase