Donegan, M.L. et al. Nat Neurosci 23, 1365—1375 (2020)
Tucked inside the hippocampus is a relatively small brain region that has big impact on social behavior. This region, called CA2, takes social information and encodes those inputs into memory, though exactly how remains unknown. Neuronal deficits in CA2, meanwhile, have been associated with disorders such as schizophrenia.
Working with wild-type animals and the Df(16)A+/− mouse model of the human 22q11.2 microdeletion, a risk factor for schizophrenia, Macayla Donegan and her colleagues at Columbia University show that neurons firing in the CA2 play a role in encoding social novelty, a necessity for social memory. In the Df(16)A+/− mice, this social coding is impaired but can be rescued with a TREK-1 blockade.