Valproic acid (VPA) is a drug used for the treatment of epilepsy, seizures, migraines, and bipolar disorders. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) is a Ser/Thr kinase activated by p35 or p39 in neurons and plays a role in a variety of neuronal functions, including psychiatric behaviors. We previously reported that VPA suppressed Cdk5 activity by reducing the expression of p35 in cultured cortical neurons, leaving p39 unchanged. In this study, we asked for the role of Cdk5 in VPA-induced anxiety and depression behaviors. Wild-type (WT) mice displayed increased anxiety and depression after chronic administration of VPA for 14 days, when the expression of p35 was decreased. To clarify their relationship, we used p39 knockout (KO) mice, in which p35 is the only Cdk5 activator. When p39 KO mice were treated chronically with VPA, unexpectedly, they exhibited fewer anxiety and depression behaviors than WT mice. The effects were p39 cdk5r2 gene-dosage dependent. Together, these results indicate that Cdk5-p39 plays a specific role in VPA-induced anxiety and depression behaviors.
- Psychiatric behavior
- Valproic acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience