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Harper KM, Hiramoto T, Tanigaki K, Kang G, Suzuki G, Trimble W, Hiroi N. Alterations of social interaction through genetic and environmental manipulation of the 22q11.2 gene Sept5 in the mouse brain. Hum Mol Genet . 2012 Aug 1 ; 21(15):3489-99. PubMed Abstract

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Comment by:  Nancy ButcherAnne Bassett
Submitted 14 August 2012 Posted 14 August 2012

The article by Harper et al. is an important contribution to our understanding of the genetic architecture of social deficits common to developmental disorders such as schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder. Harper et al. used a three-pronged approach to identify the role of Sept5, a gene located in the 22q11.2 deletion region, in social behavior. In a series of elegant experiments, they demonstrated that Sept5 deficiency disturbs social interactions in mice, and, conversely, that Sept5 overexpression increases levels of social interaction. By reducing stress in the mice through an environmental modification, they showed that increased levels of social behavior correspond to increased levels of expression of Sept5 protein in the amygdala. The studies from this group on Sept5 suggest that variability in social functioning related to changes in expression of Sept5 is likely to be mediated by both genetic background and environmental influences (Suzuki et al., 2009). Replication and extension of this study are needed to identify...  Read more

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