Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Primate models of autism  

Evidence suggests that maternal autoantibodies directed against fetal brain tissue are a possible cause for a subset of autism cases. A characteristic pattern of autoantibody production to human fetal brain tissue (and to rhesus monkey brain tissue) in 20% of mothers of multiple children with autism was recently identified. These studies indicate that rhesus monkeys, prenatally exposed to IgG class antibodies from these mothers, produce whole body motor stereotypies indicative of autism symptoms. Research on this immunological model of autism will be extended in this study by increasing the number of experimental subjects and increasing the duration of IgG exposure into the second trimester for a subset of the subjects. Behavioral observations of the first two years of development will be made in both treated and untreated animals to compare behavior in a variety of social contexts designed to probe attachments, social dominance, social motivations, and fear reactions. A detailed longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of the brain regions most commonly implicated in the neuropathology of autism will also be carried out in order to evaluate differences in the time course of brain development. Collectively, these studies may have direct implications for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of ASD. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $106,671.00
Project Number 5P51RR000169-48
Principal Investigator Amaral, David
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help? (Interventions)
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 4SB. Standardize and validate at least 20 model systems (e.g., cellular and/or animal) that replicate features of ASD and will allow identification of specific molecular targets or neural circuits amenable to existing or new interventions by 2012. IACC Recommended Budget: $75,000,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution University of California, Davis
State/Country California
Web Link 1 Primate models of autism (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Primate models of autism | $114,105.00 | 2010 | 2P51RR000169-49