Mice lacking galectin-3 (Lgals3) function have decreased home cage movement


BMC Neuroscience

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Background: Galectins are a large family of proteins evolved to perform specific carbohydrate recognition tasks. Given the importance of pattern recognition processes for multiple biological tasks, including CNS development and immune recognition, we examined the home cage behavioral phenotype of mice lacking galectin-3 (Lgals3) function. Using a sophisticated monitoring apparatus capable of examining feeding, drinking, and movement at millisecond temporal and 0.5 cm spatial resolutions, we observed daily behavioral patterns from 10 wildtype male C57BL/6J and 10 Lgals3 constitutive knockout (Lgals3-/-; both cohorts aged 2-3 mo) mice over 17 consecutive days. We performed a second behavioral assessment of this cohort at age 6-7 mo.

Results: At both ages, Lgals3-/- mice demonstrated less movement compared to wildtype controls. Both forward locomotion and movement-in-place behaviors were decreased in Lgals3-/- mice, due to decreased bout numbers, initiation rates, and durations. We additionally noted perturbation of behavioral circadian rhythms in Lgals3-/- mice, with mice at both ages demonstrating greater variability in day-to-day performance of feeding, drinking, and movement (as assessed by Lomb-Scargle analysis) compared to wildtype.

Conclusion: Carbohydrate recognition tasks performed by Lgals3 may be required for appropriate development of CNS structures involved in the generation and control of locomotor behavior.

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2-3 mo old.zip (1019602 kB)
6-7 mo old.zip (951534 kB)