Parvalbumin (PV)-positive interneurons in the hippocampus play a critical role in animal memory, such as spatial working memory. However, how PV-positive interneurons in the subregions of the hippocampus affect animal behaviors remains poorly defined. Here, we achieved specific and reversible activation of PV-positive interneurons using designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) technology. Inducible DREADD expression was demonstrated in vitro in cultured neurons, in which co-transfection of the hM3D-Gq-mCherry vector with a Cre plasmid resulted in a cellular response to hM3Dq ligand clozapine-N-oxide (CNO) stimulation. In addition, the dentate gyrus (DG) of PV-Cre mice received bilateral injection of control lentivirus or lentivirus expressing double floxed hM3D-Gq-mCherry. Selective activation of PV-positive interneurons in the DG did not affect locomotor activity or depression-related behavior in mice. Interestingly, stimulation of PV-positive interneurons induced an anxiolytic effect. Activation of PVpositive interneurons appears to impair social interaction to novelty, but has no effect on social motivation. However, this defect is likely due to the anxiolytic effect as the exploratory behavior of mice expressing hM3DGq is significantly increased. Mice expressing hM3D-Gq did not affect novel object recognition. Activation of PV-positive interneurons in the DG maintains intact cued and contextual fear memory but facilitates fear extinction. Collectively, our results demonstrated that proper control of PV interneurons activity in the DG is critical for regulation of the anxiety, social interaction and fear extinction. These results improve our fundamental understanding of the physiological role of PV-positive interneurons in the hippocampus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology