A behavioural study of neuroglobin-overexpressing mice under normoxic and hypoxic conditions
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Biochimica et biophysica acta : proteins and proteomics. - Amsterdam
, p. 1764-1771
University of Antwerp
Neuroglobin (Ngb), a neuron-specific heme-binding protein that binds O2, CO and NO reversibly, and promotes in vivo and in vitro cell survival after hypoxic and ischaemic insult. Although the mechanisms of this neuroprotection remain unknown, Ngb might play an important role in counteracting the adverse effects of ischaemic stroke and cerebral hypoxia. Several Ngb overexpressing mouse models have confirmed this hypothesis; however, these models were not yet exposed to in-depth behavioural characterisations. To investigate the potential changes in behaviour due to Ngb overexpression, heterozygous mice and wild type (WT) littermates were subjected to a series of cognitive and behavioural tests (i.e., the SHIRPA primary screening, the hidden-platform Morris water maze, passive avoidance learning, 47 h cage activity, open field exploration, a darklight transition box, an accelerating rotarod, a stationary beam, a wire suspension task and a gait test) under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. No significant behavioural differences were found between WT and Ngb-overexpressing mice at three months old. However, one-year-old Ngb-overexpressing mice travelled more distance on the stationary beam compared with WT littermates. This result shows that the constitutive overexpression of Ngb might counteract the endogenous decrease of Ngb in crucial brain regions such as the cerebellum, thereby counteracting age-induced neuromotor dysfunction. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Oxygen Binding and Sensing Proteins.