Lange, M., Norton, W., Coolen, M., Chaminade, M., Merker, S., Proft, F., Schmitt, A., Vernier, P., Lesch, K.P., and Bally-Cuif, L. (2012) The ADHD-susceptibility gene lphn3.1 modulates dopaminergic neuron formation and locomotor activity during zebrafish development. Molecular psychiatry. 17(9):946-954.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, increased impulsivity and emotion dysregulation. Linkage analysis followed by fine-mapping identified variation in the gene coding for Latrophilin 3 (LPHN3), a putative adhesion-G protein-coupled receptor, as a risk factor for ADHD. In order to validate the link between LPHN3 and ADHD, and to understand the function of LPHN3 in the etiology of the disease, we examined its ortholog lphn3.1 during zebrafish development. Loss of lphn3.1 function causes a reduction and misplacement of dopamine-positive neurons in the ventral diencephalon and a hyperactive/impulsive motor phenotype. The behavioral phenotype can be rescued by the ADHD treatment drugs methylphenidate and atomoxetine. Together, our results implicate decreased Lphn3 activity in eliciting ADHD-like behavior, and demonstrate its correlated contribution to the development of the brain dopaminergic circuitry.