Editor’s Pick: Bridging the translational gap to improve our understanding of OCD

Reviewing Editor Jibran Khokhar, Ph.D. selected this paper and explains why he considers it noteworthy.

This study addresses the critical need for enhanced understanding and treatment options for individuals suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), for which we have limited therapeutic interventions. By investigating the genetic association between the SLC1A1 gene and OCD in humans and exploring its impact in rodent models, this research bridges the translational gap, offering insights into the neurobiological mechanisms underlying OCD-relevant behaviors.

The development of a novel mouse model with reversible forebrain overexpression of Slc1a1 represents a significant advancement for the field, enabling researchers to manipulate gene expression and investigate its effects on behavior, particularly in response to amphetamine, a substance known to exacerbate OCD symptoms. Importantly, through the use of an unbiased machine learning classifier, this study identified distinct clusters of amphetamine-induced behaviors in Slc1a1-overexpressing mice, shedding light on the intricate relationship between genetic predisposition and environmental triggers in the manifestation of OCD-like behaviors.

Lastly, the observed increase in neuronal activation in the ventromedial striatum (among others) highlights the potential targets for future neuromodulation based therapeutic interventions toward attenuating repetitive behaviors associated with OCD, thus paving the way for novel treatment strategies in the field of psychiatry.

Read the full article:

Forebrain EAAT3 overexpression increases susceptibility to amphetamine-induced repetitive behaviors
Jared M. Kopelman, Muhammad O. Chohan, Alex I. Hsu, Eric A. Yttri, Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, and Susanne E. Ahmari

Category: Editor's Pick
Tags: Neuroscience Research, Disorders of the Nervous System