Overexpression of acid-sensing ion channel 1a in transgenic mice increases acquired fear-related behavior

Academic Article


  • The acid-sensing ion channel 1a (ASIC1a) is abundantly expressed in the amygdala complex and other brain regions associated with fear. Studies of mice with a disrupted ASIC1 gene suggested that ASIC1a may contribute to learned fear. To test this hypothesis, we generated mice overexpressing human ASIC1a by using the panneuronal synapsin I promoter. Transgenic ASIC1a interacted with endogenous mouse ASIC1a and was distributed to the synaptosomal fraction of brain. Transgenic expression of ASIC1a also doubled neuronal acid-evoked cation currents. The amygdala showed prominent expression, and overexpressing ASIC1a enhanced fear conditioning, an animal model of acquired anxiety. These data raise the possibility that ASIC1a and H+-gated currents may contribute to the development of abnormal fear and to anxiety disorders in humans.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wemmie JA; Coryell MW; Askwith CC; Lamani E; Leonard AS; Sigmund CD; Welsh MJ
  • Start Page

  • 3621
  • End Page

  • 3626
  • Volume

  • 101
  • Issue

  • 10