GSK-3β inhibition affects singing behavior and neurogenesis in adult songbirds

Etay Aloni, Moran Shapira, Hagit Eldar-Finkelman, Anat Barnea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


GSK-3 (glycogen synthase kinase-3) is a serine/threonine kinase which is a critical regulator in neuronal signaling, cognition, and behavior. We have previously shown that unlike other vertebrates that harbor both α and β GSK-3 genes, the α gene is missing in birds. Therefore, birds can be used as a new animal model to study the roles of GSK-3β in behavior and in regulating adult neurogenesis. In the present study, we inhibited GSK-3β in brains of adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and accordingly investigated how this inhibition affects behavior and cell proliferation. Our results show that GSK-3 inhibition: (1) affects specific aspects of singing behavior, which might be related to social interactions in birds, and (2) differentially affects cell proliferation in various parts of the ventricular zone. Taken together, our study demonstrates a role of GSK-3β in regulating singing behavior and neuronal proliferation in birds and highlights the importance of GSK-3β in modulating cognitive abilities as well as social behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-244
Number of pages12
JournalBrain, Behavior and Evolution
Issue number4
StatePublished - 13 Aug 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.


  • Birds
  • GSK-3
  • Glycogen synthase kinase-3
  • L803-mts
  • Motor activity
  • Neurogenesis
  • Singing behavior


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