Nrf2 deficiency leads to behavioral, neurochemical and transcriptional changes in mice

Hiroyuki Muramatsu, Fumiki Katsuoka, Katsuo Toide, Yusuke Shimizu, Shoji Furusako, Masayuki Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Nrf2 is a transcription factor that regulates the antioxidant and detoxification enzyme genes and provides defense against oxidative and electrophilic stresses in various tissues. In brain, while neuroprotective functions of Nrf2 have been well documented, Nrf2 contribution to the brain function remains to be elucidated. To address this issue, we investigated whether Nrf2 deficiency affects psychological behaviors, neurotransmitter systems and gene expressions in mice. We conducted four behavioral tests, social interaction, open-field, rotarod and forced swimming tests and found that Nrf2 knockout mice exhibited reduced immobility in the forced swimming test. Neurochemical analyses revealed that the dopamine and serotonin metabolites increased in the brains of Nrf2 knockout mice. We also present a catalog of genes whose expression is Nrf2-dependent in brain under unstressed conditions, which includes a number of xenobiotic-metabolizing enzyme genes. These results thus support our contention that Nrf2 regulates its target genes in brain under unstressed conditions and loss of Nrf2 affects various brain functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-908
Number of pages10
JournalGenes to Cells
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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