DOI: 10.1101/453928Oct 26, 2018Paper

Identification of Slit3 as a locus affecting nicotine preference in zebrafish and human smoking behaviour

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Alistair J BrockCaroline H Brennan

Abstract

To facilitate smoking genetics research we determined whether a screen of mutagenized zebrafish for nicotine preference could predict loci affecting smoking behaviour. Of 30 ENU mutagenized families screened, two showed increased or decreased nicotine preference. Out of 25 inactivating mutations in the families, one in the slit3 gene segregated with increased nicotine preference in heterozygous individuals. Focussed SNP analysis of the human SLIT3 locus in cohorts from UK (n=863) and Finland (n=1715) identified two variants that predict cigarette consumption and likelihood of cessation. Characterisation of slit3 mutant larvae and adult fish revealed decreased sensitivity to the dopaminergic and serotonergic antagonist amisulpride, known to affect startle reflex that is correlated with addiction in humans, and increased htr1aa mRNA expression in mutant larvae. No effect on neuronal pathfinding was detected. These findings reveal a role for SLIT3 in development of pathways affecting responses to nicotine in zebrafish and smoking in humans.

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