Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 54
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825305

Addressing in vivo functions of urocortin III, a novel member of the CRH family of neuropeptides

J Deussing 1, J Breu 1, EB Binder 1, F Ohl 1, F Holsboer 1, W Wurst 1
  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Psychiatrie, Molekulare Neurogenetik, München

Mice deficient for CRH show an impaired stress response of the HPA system, however they display normal stress-induced behaviour suggesting the importance of other CRH-like molecules acting through CRH receptors mediating the behavioural responses, either alone or in concert with CRH (Weninger et al., 1999). Therefore we generated mice deficient for urocortin III (UCNIII) a recently discovered novel member of the CRH family of neuropeptides. The entire coding region of the UCNIII gene was substituted by a tau-LacZ reporter gene thereby allowing to monitor the specific endogenous gene expression pattern of UCNIII. To assess how UCNIII is modulating anxiety-related behaviour mutant mice are tested in multiple behavioural paradigms: modified hole board, dark/light box, forced swimming and conditioned fear. In addition, the phenotype of CRHR2 mutant mice (Coste et al., 2000) suggests a detailed analysis of the HPA-system, feeding behaviour and cardiovascular function in UCNIII-deficient mice.

Weninger et al. (1999) PNAS 96:8283–8

Coste et al. (2000) Nat Genet 24:403–9