CO2 exposure as translational cross-species experimental model for panic

N. K. Leibold*, D. L. A. van den Hove, W. Viechtbauer, G. F. Buchanan, L. Goossens, I. Lange, I. Knuts, K. P. Lesch, H. W. M. Steinbusch, K. R. J. Schruers

*Corresponding author for this work

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The current diagnostic criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders are being challenged by the heterogeneity and the symptom overlap of psychiatric disorders. Therefore, a framework toward a more etiology-based classification has been initiated by the US National Institute of Mental Health, the research domain criteria project. The basic neurobiology of human psychiatric disorders is often studied in rodent models. However, the differences in outcome measurements hamper the translation of knowledge. Here, we aimed to present a translational panic model by using the same stimulus and by quantitatively comparing the same outcome measurements in rodents, healthy human subjects and panic disorder patients within one large project. We measured the behavioral-emotional and bodily response to CO2 exposure in all three samples, allowing for a reliable cross-species comparison. We show that CO2 exposure causes a robust fear response in terms of behavior in mice and panic symptom ratings in healthy volunteers and panic disorder patients. To improve comparability, we next assessed the respiratory and cardiovascular response to CO2, demonstrating corresponding respiratory and cardiovascular effects across both species. This project bridges the gap between basic and human research to improve the translation of knowledge between these disciplines. This will allow significant progress in unraveling the etiological basis of panic disorder and will be highly beneficial for refining the diagnostic categories as well as treatment strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere885
JournalTranslational Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2016

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