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

Animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders  

Strong evidence for genetic causes of autism has spurred the search for genes causing the disorder, and genetic mouse models offer an ideal experimental strategy to evaluate the consequences of candidate gene mutations. This study uses an inbred mouse strain (BTBR) with an autism-related phenotype to investigate the biological mechanisms underlying that phenotype. It will carry out a quantitative trait loci linkage analysis to discover genes that correlate with the autism-like phenotype. A second approach toward identifying the genes mediating the diagnostic symptoms of autism is to evaluate the behaviors of mice with experimentally targeted mutations in candidate genes for autism, including synaptic development genes neuroligin-2, neuroligin-4, shank1, and shank3, which have been associated with autism. The third component of this project is the translational evaluation of proposed treatments. The robust and highly replicated social deficits and repetitive self-grooming in BTBR mice provide a good model system for testing the ability of drugs and behavioral treatments to reverse and prevent autism-like symptoms. Both risperidone and MPEP, a metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonist, will be tested as well as a behavioral intervention. Development of mouse models with behavioral phenotypes relevant to core diagnostic symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism may address the causes of mental illnesses and efficacies of novel treatments. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $1,835,912.00
Project Number 1ZIAMH002179-24
Principal Investigator Crawley, Jacqueline
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 National Institutes of Health (NIH)
State/Country Maryland
Web Link 1 Animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders | $1,769,941.00 | 2010 | 1ZIAMH002179-25
Animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders | $1,537,274.00 | 2008 | Z01MH002179-23