Proteomics and metabolomics analysis of a trait anxiety mouse model reveals divergent mitchondrial pathways
Background: Although anxiety disorders are the most prevalent psychiatric disorders, no molecular biomarkers exist for their premorbid diagnosis, accurate patient subcategorization, or treatment efficacy prediction. To unravel the neurobiological underpinnings and identify candidate biomarkers and affected pathways for anxiety disorders, we interrogated the mouse model of high anxiety-related behavior (HAB), normal anxiety-related behavior (NAB), and low anxiety-related behavior (LAB) employing a quantitative proteomics and metabolomics discovery approach. Methods: We compared the cingulate cortex synaptosome proteomes of HAB and LAB mice by in vivo 15N metabolic labeling and mass spectrometry and quantified the cingulate cortex metabolomes of HAB/NAB/LAB mice. The combined data sets were used to identify divergent protein and metabolite networks by in silico pathway analysis. Selected differentially expressed proteins and affected pathways were validated with immunochemical and enzymatic assays. Results: Altered levels of up to 300 proteins and metabolites were found between HAB and LAB mice. Our data reveal alterations in energy metabolism, mitochondrial import and transport, oxidative stress, and neurotransmission, implicating a previously nonhighlighted role of mitochondria in modulating anxiety-related behavior. Conclusions: Our results offer insights toward a molecular network of anxiety pathophysiology with a focus on mitochondrial contribution and provide the basis for pinpointing affected pathways in anxiety-related behavior.