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Comprehensive behavioral phenotyping of calpastatin-knockout mice

Ryuichi Nakajima15*, Keizo Takao234, Shu-Ming Huang16, Jiro Takano1, Nobuhisa Iwata1, Tsuyoshi Miyakawa234 and Takaomi C Saido1*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory for Proteolytic Neuroscience, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Saitama, Japan

2 Genetic Engineering and Functional Genomics Group, Frontier Technology Center, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

3 Division of Systems Medicine, Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science, Fujita Health University, Toyoake, Japan

4 JST, CREST, Hon-chou, Kawaguchi, Saitama, Japan

5 Current Address: Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

6 Current Address: Department of Neuroscience, Institute for Chinese Medicine, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Harbin, PR China

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Molecular Brain 2008, 1:7  doi:10.1186/1756-6606-1-7

Published: 15 September 2008



Calpastatin is an endogenous inhibitor of calpain, intracellular calcium-activated protease. It has been suggested to be involved in molecular mechanisms of long-term plasticity and excitotoxic pathways. However, functions of calpastatin in vivo are still largely unknown. To examine the physiological roles of calpastatin, we subjected calpastatin-knockout mice to a comprehensive behavioral test battery.


Calpastatin-knockout mice showed decreased locomotor activity under stressful environments, and decreased acoustic startle response, but we observed no significant change in hippocampus-dependent memory function.


These results suggest that calpastatin is likely to be more closely associated with affective rather than cognitive aspects of brain function.