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Pleiotrophin (PTN) is an extracellular matrix-associated protein with neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects that is involved in a variety of neurodevelopmental processes. Data regarding the cognitive-behavioral and neuroanatomical phenotype of pleiotrophin knockout (KO) mice is limited. The purpose of this study was to more fully characterize this phenotype, with emphasis on the domains of learning and memory, cognitive-behavioral flexibility, exploratory behavior and anxiety, social behavior, and the neuronal and vascular microstructure of the lateral entorhinal cortex (EC). PTN KOs exhibited cognitive rigidity, heightened anxiety, behavioral reticence in novel contexts and novel social interactions suggestive of neophobia, and lamina-specific decreases in neuronal area and increases in neuronal density in the lateral EC. Initial learning of spatial and other associative tasks, as well as vascular density in the lateral EC, was normal in the KOs. These data suggest that the absence of PTN in vivo is associated with disruption of specific cognitive and affective processes, raising the possibility that further study of PTN KOs might have implications for the study of human disorders with similar features.


This article originally appeared in PLoS ONE, available at DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100597

© 2014 Krellman et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



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