Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Sigma (σ) sites are a type of nonopiate receptor whose role has been associated with several behaviours, including anxiety, depression, analgesia, learning processes and psychosis. Although there are several known σ receptor types, only the type I receptor (σ1) has been cloned. To uncover the in vivo relevance of σ-receptors, we have generated knockout mice for σ1. Despite the broad expression pattern found for the σ1-gene, homozygous mutant mice are viable, fertile and do not display any overt phenotype, compared with their wild-type litter-mates, in mixed genetic backgrounds. However, a significant decrease in the hypermotility response has been measured in knockout mice upon challenge with (+)SKF-10 047, in agreement with the involvement of σ1-receptors in the induction of psychostimulant actions. The activity of σ2-receptors seems to be unaffected in σ1-mutant mice. These knockout mice could contribute to better understand the in vivo role of σ-receptors.
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