Analysis of kalirin-7 knockout mice reveals different effects in female mice

Christopher M. Mazzone, Taylor P. Larese, Drew D. Kiraly, Betty A. Eipper, Richard E. Mains

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Estradiol treatment of ovariectomized rodents is known to affect the morphology of dendritic spines and produce behavioral and cognitive effects. Kalirin-7 (Kal7), a postsynaptic density (PSD)-localized Rho-guanine nucleotide exchange factor, is important for dendritic spine formation and stability. Male Kal7 knockout [Kal7(KO)] mice exhibit a number of abnormal behavioral and biochemical phenotypes. Given that chronic 17β-estradiol (E2) replacement of ovariectomized rats enhanced Kal7 expression in the hippocampus and primary hippocampal cultures, we assessed the behavioral and biochemical effects of chronic E2 treatment of ovariectomized female wild-type and Kal7(KO) mice. Both intact and ovariectomized Kal7(KO) female mice exhibited decreased anxiety-like behavior compared with the corresponding wild type in the elevated zero maze and were unaffected by E2 treatment. Chronic E2 decreased locomotor activity in the open field and enhanced performance in a passive-avoidance fear conditioning task, which were both unaffected by genotype. Kal7(KO) female mice engaged in significantly more object exploration, both familiar and novel, than did wild-type females. E2 enhanced the acute locomotor response to cocaine, with no significant effect of genotype. Similar to Kal7(KO) males, Kal7(KO) females had decreased levels of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor 2B in hippocampal PSD fractions with no effect of E2 treatment. The differing behavioral effects of Kal7 ablation in female and male mice may offer insight into the molecular underpinnings of these differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1241-1249
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Pharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


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