Fecal corticosterone levels in RCAN1 mutant mice.
Regulator of calcineurin 1 (RCAN1) is related to the expression of human neurologic disorders such as Down syndrome, Alzheimer disease, and chromosome 21q deletion syndrome. We showed here that RCAN1-knockout mice exhibit reduced innate anxiety as indicated by the elevated-plus maze. To examine whether glucocorticoids contribute to this phenotype, we measured fecal corticosterone in male wildtype and RCAN1-knockout mice and in male and female transgenic mice with neuronal overexpression of RCAN1 (Tg-RCAN1(TG)). We found no difference in fecal corticosterone levels of RCAN1-knockout mice and their wildtype littermates. As expected, we found differences between sexes in fecal corticosterone levels. In addition, we found higher levels of excreted corticosterone in Tg-RCAN1(TG) female mice as compared with female wildtype mice. Our data indicate normal diurnal corticosterone production in RCAN1 mutant mice and do not suggest a causal role in either the cognitive or anxiety phenotypes exhibited by RCAN1-knockout mice.