PKBγ-AKT3 loss-of-function causes learning and memory deficits and deregulation of AKT-mTORC2 signaling: Relevance for schizophreniaReport as inadecuate




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Psychiatric genetic studies have identified genome-wide significant loci for schizophrenia. The AKT3-1q44 locus is a principal risk region and gene-network analyses identify AKT3 polymorphisms as a constituent of several neurobiological pathways relevant to psychiatric risk; the neurobiological mechanisms remain unknown. AKT3 shows prenatal enrichment during human neocortical development and recurrent copy number variations involving the 1q43-44 locus are associated with cortical malformations and intellectual disability, implicating an essential role in early brain development. Here, we investigated the role of AKT3 as it relates to aspects of learning and memory and behavioral function, relevant to schizophrenia and cognitive disability, utilizing a novel murine model of Akt3 genetic deficiency. Akt3 heterozygous Akt3-+ or null mice Akt3- were assessed in a comprehensive test battery. Brain biochemical studies were conducted to assess the impact of Akt3 deficiency on cortical Akt-mTOR signaling. Akt3-+ and Akt3- mice exhibited selective deficits of temporal order discrimination and spatial memory, tasks critically dependent on intact prefrontal-hippocampal circuitry, but showed normal prepulse inhibition, fear conditioned learning, memory for novel objects and social function. Akt3 loss-of-function, reduced brain size and dramatically impaired cortical Akt Ser473 activation in an allele-dose dependent manner. Such changes were observed in the absence of altered Akt1 or Akt2 protein expression. Concomitant reduction of the mTORC2 complex proteins, Rictor and Sin1 identifies a potential mechanism. Our findings provide novel insight into the neurodevelopmental role of Akt3, identify a non-redundant role for Akt3 in the development of prefrontal cortical-mediated cognitive function and show that Akt3 is potentially the dominant regulator of AKT-mTOR signaling in brain.



Author: Kristy R. Howell, Kirsten Floyd, Amanda J. Law

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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