LPA5 receptor plays a role in pain sensitivity, emotional exploration and reversal learning

Authors

  • Z. Callaerts-Vegh,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Biological Psychology, Leuven Institute for Neuroscience and Disease (LIND), University of Leuven, Leuven
    • Corresponding author: Z. Callaerts-Vegh, PhD, Laboratory of Biological Psychology, University of Leuven, Tiensestraat 102, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium. E-mail: zsuzsanna.vegh@ppw.kuleuven.be

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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • S. Leo,

    1. Laboratory of Biological Psychology, Leuven Institute for Neuroscience and Disease (LIND), University of Leuven, Leuven
    2. Department of Neuroscience, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Beerse, Belgium
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • B. Vermaercke,

    1. Laboratory of Biological Psychology, Leuven Institute for Neuroscience and Disease (LIND), University of Leuven, Leuven
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  • T. Meert,

    1. Laboratory of Biological Psychology, Leuven Institute for Neuroscience and Disease (LIND), University of Leuven, Leuven
    2. Department of Neuroscience, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Beerse, Belgium
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  • Rudi D'Hooge

    1. Laboratory of Biological Psychology, Leuven Institute for Neuroscience and Disease (LIND), University of Leuven, Leuven
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Abstract

Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a bioactive lipid acting on the nervous system through at least 6 different G protein-coupled receptors. In this study, we examined mice lacking the LPA5 receptor using an extensive battery of behavioral tests. LPA5-deficient mice showed decreased pain sensitivity in tail withdrawal, faster recovery in one inflammatory pain procedure (complete Freund's adjuvant-induced inflammation) and attenuated responses under specific neuropathic pain conditions. Notably, deletion of LPA5 also induced nocturnal hyperactivity and reduced anxiety in the mutant mice. Several exploratory tasks revealed signs of reduced anxiety in LPA5 knockout mice including increased visits to the arena center and reduced thigmotaxis in the open field, and more open arm entries in the elevated plus maze. Finally, LPA5 knockout mice also displayed marked reduction in social exploration, although several other tests indicated that these mice were able to respond normally to environmental stimuli. While learning and memory performance was not impaired in LPA5-deficient mice, we found differences, e.g., targeted swim strategy and reversal learning, as well as scheduled appetitive conditioning that might indicate differential motivational behavior. These results imply that LPA5 might be involved in both nociception and mechanisms of pain hypersensitivity, as well as in anxiety-related and motivational behaviors. These observations further support the proposed involvement of LPA signaling in psychopathology.

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