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

Interactions of environment and molecular pathways on brain overgrowth in autism: Maternal inflammation and the PI3/AKT pathway  

It has been recently reported that some individuals with autism show premature brain overgrowth early in development. Recent studies have demonstrated that brain overgrowth can be caused by the interaction of environmental factors such as maternal inflammatory response (MIR) with genetic susceptibility during periods of vulnerability in fetal development. This research seeks to understand mechanisms of MIR-induced macrocephaly in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). One mechanism by which genes and environment might interact in maternal inflammatory response is through the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). While it is well known that high levels of ROS are toxic to cells, the effects of low levels of ROS are unknown. Maternal and embryonic ROS levels can be influenced by many environmental factors including viral infection and allergic/immune disorders which have also been positively associated with macrocephaly. This lab has previously shown that low levels of ROS produced by NADPH oxidases (NOX) enhance neural stem cell self-renewal, at least in part due to disruption of PTEN function. Here, they will determine whether there is a pathogenic link between NOX-generated ROS and brain size in a rodent model. Project Status
ONGOING

2009

Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $211,200.00
Project Number 4954
Principal Investigator Lebelle, Janel
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 3: What Caused This To Happen And Can This Be Prevented? (Risk Factors)
Strategic Plan Objective New! Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 3SE. Support at least two studies to determine if there are subpopulations that are more susceptible to environmental exposures (e.g., immune challenges related to infections, vaccinations, or underlying autoimmune problems) by 2012. IACC Recommended Budget: $8,000,000 over 2 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution University of California, Los Angeles
State/Country California
Web Link 1 Interactions of environment and molecular pathways on brain overgrowth in autism: Maternal inflammation and the PI3/AKT pathway (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Interactions of environment and molecular pathways on brain overgrowth in autism: Maternal inflammation and the PI3/AKT pathway | $211,200.00 | 2008 | 4954