Abnormal parental behaviors in mice lacking phospholipase Cβ1

Abnormal parental behaviors in mice lacking phospholipase Cβ1
parental behaviors; mice; phospholipase Cβ1; motivation
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Hormones, neuropeptides, and neurotransmitters involved in parental behavior act via G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR), many of which in turn activate plasma membrane enzymes including phospholipase C (PLC) β isoforms. In the present study, we found that PLCβ1-/- dams display abnormal pattern of maternal behavior. During -24 hr ~ +12 hr (24 hr before ~ 12 hr after parturition), PLCβ1-/- dams performed normal maternal behaviors such as, nesting, licking, grooming and hovering. From ~ +18 hr, however, PLCβ1-/- dams no longer took care of their pups, and eventually all pups died in a couple of days. They also failed to complete pup retrieval task within a given test time. With PLCβ1+/+ father remaining in the cage, pup survival rate was recovered almost to that of the PLCβ1+/+ dam case. PLCβ1+/+ fathers mated with PLCβ1-/- female showed more active parental behavior such as, licking, hovering and pup retrieving, than those of PLCβ1+/+ father mated with PLCβ1+/+ female. PLCβ1-/- fathers did not show any parental behavior regardless of genotype of their mates. PLCβ1-/- dams display normal behavior at the preparation & onset phases, but fail to proceed to maintenance phase except in the case that PLCβ1+/+ father remains in the mating cage. This observation suggests that the PLCβ1 might play a key role in the transition from onset to maintenance phase of maternal behavior, and that the paternal behavior have a fundamental effect on maternal behavior and in turn pup’s survival. Therefore, the PLCβ1-/- mice can be a good mouse model for studying the process of transition from onset to maintenance phase of maternal behavior, as well as the adaptive factor of paternal behavior.
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