MyD88 deficiency results in both cognitive and motor impairments in mice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88) product is the most common adaptor protein implicated in Toll-like and interleukin receptor (TIR) domain signaling and thus plays an important role in the innate immune system. Despite the fact that the MyD88-dependent pathway has emerged as an important player in cell death processes described in several animal models of neurodegenerative disorders, the contribution of this pathway to specific behavioral phenotypes has been largely ignored. To understand the full implication of this pathway, we tested MyD88(-/-) mice for both motor and cognitive functions in normal conditions. MyD88(-/-) mice displayed impaired spatial and working memory as detected by the Barnes maze, the water T-maze and the passive avoidance tests. Furthermore, MyD88(-/-) mice demonstrated hypolocomotion in the open-field and wheel activity systems, as well as impairments in motor coordination and balance using the pole test and the rotarod. Our findings shed light on behavioral alterations that are associated with the deletion of the MyD88 protein in physiological conditions. These behavioral effects should be taken into consideration when assessing the role of the MyD88-dependent pathway in various infectious and non-infectious conditions.


  • J Drouin-Ouellet
  • M LeBel
  • M Filali
  • F Cicchetti
External organisations
  • Laval University
Research areas and keywords


  • Animals, Avoidance Learning, Cognition Disorders, Hot Temperature, Maze Learning, Memory, Short-Term, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Motor Activity, Movement Disorders, Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88, Pain Measurement, Postural Balance, Reaction Time, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)880-5
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Behavior and Immunity
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes