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Journal Article


Smagin DA, Babenko VN, Redina OE, Kovalenko IL, Galyamina AG, Kudryavtseva NN. Genes (Basel) 2021; 12(7).


(Copyright © 2021, MDPI: Multidisciplinary Digital Publications Institute)






A range of several psychiatric medications targeting the activity of solute carrier (SLC) transporters have proved effective for treatment. Therefore, further research is needed to elucidate the expression profiles of the Slc genes, which may serve as markers of altered brain metabolic processes and neurotransmitter activities in psychoneurological disorders. We studied the Slc differentially expressed genes (DEGs) using transcriptomic profiles in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), nucleus accumbens (NAcc), and prefrontal cortex (PFC) of control and aggressive male mice with psychosis-like behavior induced by repeated experience of aggression accompanied with wins in daily agonistic interactions. The majority of the Slc DEGs were shown to have brain region-specific expression profiles. Most of these genes in the VTA and NAcc (12 of 17 and 25 of 26, respectively) were downregulated, which was not the case in the PFC (6 and 5, up- and downregulated, respectively). In the VTA and NAcc, altered expression was observed for the genes encoding the transporters of neurotransmitters as well as inorganic and organic ions, amino acids, metals, glucose, etc. This indicates an alteration in transport functions for many substrates, which can lead to the downregulation or even disruption of cellular and neurotransmitter processes in the VTA and NAcc, which are attributable to chronic stimulation of the reward systems induced by positive fighting experience. There is not a single Slc DEG common to all three brain regions. Our findings show that in male mice with repeated experience of aggression, altered activity of neurotransmitter systems leads to a restructuring of metabolic and neurotransmitter processes in a way specific for each brain region. We assume that the scoring of Slc DEGs by the largest instances of significant expression co-variation with other genes may outline a candidate for new prognostic drug targets. Thus, we propose that the Slc genes set may be treated as a sensitive genes marker scaffold in brain RNA-Seq studies.

Language: en


gene expression; nucleus accumbens; positive fighting experience; prefrontal cortex; repeated aggression; RNA-Seq; Slc gene family; ventral tegmental area


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