Activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1) regulates anxiety- and novelty-related behaviors. Academic Article uri icon


  • The activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc, also known as Arg3.1) regulates glutamatergic synapse plasticity and has been linked to neuropsychiatric illness; however, its role in behaviors associated with mood and anxiety disorders remains unclear. We find that stress upregulates Arc expression in the adult mouse nucleus accumbens (NAc)-a brain region implicated in mood and anxiety behaviors. Global Arc knockout mice have altered AMPAR-subunit surface levels in the adult NAc, and the Arc-deficient mice show reductions in anxiety-like behavior, deficits in social novelty preference, and antidepressive-like behavior. Viral-mediated expression of Arc in the adult NAc of male, global Arc KO mice restores normal levels of anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus maze (EPM). Consistent with this finding, viral-mediated reduction of Arc in the adult NAc reduces anxiety-like behavior in male, but not female, mice in the EPM. NAc-specific reduction of Arc also produced significant deficits in both object and social novelty preference tasks. Together our findings indicate that Arc is essential for regulating normal mood- and anxiety-related behaviors and novelty discrimination, and that Arc's function within the adult NAc contributes to these behavioral effects.

published proceedings

  • Genes Brain Behav

altmetric score

  • 1.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Penrod, R. D., Kumar, J., Smith, L. N., McCalley, D., Nentwig, T. B., Hughes, B. W., ... Cowan, C. W.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Penrod, Rachel D||Kumar, Jaswinder||Smith, Laura N||McCalley, Daniel||Nentwig, Todd B||Hughes, Brandon W||Barry, Gabriella M||Glover, Kelsey||Taniguchi, Makoto||Cowan, Christopher W

publication date

  • September 2019