Effects of social isolation and re-socialization on cognition and ADAR1 (p110) expression in mice


It has been reported that social isolation stress could be a key factor that leads to cognitive deficit for both humans and rodent models. However, detailed mechanisms are not yet clear. ADAR1 (Adenosine deaminase acting on RNA) is an enzyme involved in RNA editing that has a close relation to cognitive function. We have hypothesized that social isolation stress may impact the expression of ADAR1 in the brain of mice with cognitive deficit. To test our hypothesis, we evaluated the cognition ability of mice isolated for different durations (2, 4, and 8 weeks) using object recognition and object location tests; we also measured ADAR1 expression in hippocampus and cortex using immunohistochemistry and western blot. Our study showed that social isolation stress induced spatial and non-spatial cognition deficits of the tested mice. In addition, social isolation significantly increased both the immunoreactivity and protein expression of ADAR1 (p110) in the hippocampus and frontal cortex. Furthermore, re-socialization could not only recover the cognition deficits, but also bring ADAR1 (p110) immunoreactivity of hippocampus and frontal cortex, as well as ADAR1 (p110) protein expression of hippocampus back to the normal level for the isolated mice in adolescence. In conclusion, social isolation stress significantly increases ADAR1 (p110) expression in the hippocampus and frontal cortex of the mice with cognitive deficit. This finding may open a window to better understand the reasons (e.g., epigenetic change) that are responsible for social isolation-induced cognitive deficit and help the development of novel therapies for the resulted diseases.

© 2016 Chen et al. cc-by
ADAR1, Cognitive ability, Social isolation
Chen, W., An, D., Xu, H., Cheng, X., Wang, S., Yu, W., Yu, D., Zhao, D., Sun, Y., Deng, W., Tang, Y., & Yin, S.. 2016. Effects of social isolation and re-socialization on cognition and ADAR1 (p110) expression in mice. PeerJ, 2016(8). https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.2306