Scientific article
Open access

Aberrant habit formation in the Sapap3-knockout mouse model of obsessive-compulsive disorder

Published inScientific Reports, vol. 9, no. 1, 12061
Publication date2019

Motor behavior can be executed deliberately to achieve specific goals. With repetition, such behavior can become habitual and noncontingent on actions-outcomes. The formation of habits is a natural process that can become pathological, such as in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The present study used the Sapap3-knockout (KO) mouse model of OCD to assess habit formation based on reward devaluation. We also tested wildtype mice under different training and food-restriction schedules to assess the extent of natural habit formation. We found that Sapap3-KO mice were insensitive to the devaluation of a sucrose reward under conditions in which wildtype littermates were sensitive to devaluation. Moreover, food restriction favored goal-directed action in wildtype mice, whereas mice that were fed ad libitum were more likely to form habitual behavior but nevertheless maintained partly goal-directed lever-press behavior. In conclusion, only Sapap3-KO mice developed behavior that was fully insensitive to reward devaluation, suggesting that pathological habits in OCD patients are recapitulated in the present Sapap3-KO mouse model. In wildtype mice, the extent of habit formation was influenced by the state of satiety during training and the reinforcement schedule.

Citation (ISO format)
HADJAS, Lotfi, LUSCHER, Christian, SIMMLER, Linda. Aberrant habit formation in the Sapap3-knockout mouse model of obsessive-compulsive disorder. In: Scientific Reports, 2019, vol. 9, n° 1, p. 12061. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-48637-9
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2045-2322

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