Mice lacking Casp1, Ifngr and Nos2 genes exhibit altered depressive- and anxiety-like behaviour, and gut microbiome composition

Antonio Inserra, Jocelyn M. Choo, Martin D. Lewis, Geraint B. Rogers, Mali Wong, Júlio Licinio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Converging evidence supports the involvement of pro-inflammatory pathways and the gut microbiome in major depressive disorder (MDD). Pre-clinical and clinical studies suggest that decreasing pro-inflammatory signaling may provide clinical benefit in MDD. In this study, we used the chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) paradigm to assess whether mice lacking the pro-inflammatory caspase 1, interferon gamma-receptor, and nitric oxide synthase (Casp1, Ifngr, Nos2) −/− present altered depressive- and anxiety-like behaviour at baseline and in response to CUS. In comparison to wild-type (wt) mice, (Casp1, Ifngr, Nos2) −/− mice displayed decreased depressive- and anxiety-like behaviour, and increased hedonic-like behaviour and locomotor activity at baseline, and resistance to developing anhedonic-like behaviour and a heightened emotional state following stress. Plasma levels of ACTH and CORT did not differ between the triple knockout and wt mice following stress. The faecal microbiome of (Casp1, Ifngr, Nos2) −/− mice differed from that of wt mice at baseline and displayed reduced changes in response to chronic stress. Our results demonstrate that simultaneous deficit in multiple pro-inflammatory pathways has antidepressant-like effects at baseline, and confers resilience to stress-induced anhedonic-like behaviour. Moreover, accompanying changes in the gut microbiome composition suggest that CASP1, IFNGR and NOS2 play a role in maintaining microbiome homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6456
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

'This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.'


  • Depression
  • Molecular medicine
  • Stress and resilience
  • Target identification


Dive into the research topics of 'Mice lacking Casp1, Ifngr and Nos2 genes exhibit altered depressive- and anxiety-like behaviour, and gut microbiome composition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this