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

Gene-environment interactions in the pathogenesis of autism-like neurodevelopmental damage: A mouse model  

The present study will examine the interaction between a specific gene and an environmental factor, both known to confer risk of neurodevelopmental problems. The gene under study is DISC1, which is located in a region of the human genome likely to harbor an autism susceptibility gene. Mice with mutant versions of this gene have a predisposition to neurodevelopmental problems, which may be exacerbated or influenced by environmental factors. In this study, Dr. Pletnikov and colleagues will examine the interaction between mutations in DISC1 and the maternal immune response. They will administer a compound which mimics important aspects of the maternal immune response to viral infections to pregnant mice which harbor mutant versions of DISC1. They will examine neural development and autistic-like behaviors in the offspring of mice given the immune stimulus during pregnancy to test the hypothesis that the environmental challenge (immune activation) will exacerbate the alterations in brain development and behavior seen in DISC1 mutants. This research may identify molecular mechanisms mediating gene-environment interactions important for neurodevelopment, which would therefore be novel targets for the development of drugs to prevent or treat neurodevelopmental problems. Project Status
ONGOING

2009

Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $0.00
Project Number 2574
Principal Investigator Pletnikov, Mikhail
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening? (Biology)
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 2SA. Support at least four research projects to identify mechanisms of metabolic and/or immune system interactions with the central nervous system that may underlie the development of ASD during prenatal-postnatal life by 2010. IACC Funding Budget: $9,800,000 over 4 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
State/Country Maryland
Web Link 1 Gene-environment interactions in the pathogenesis of autism-like neurodevelopmental damage: A mouse model (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Gene-environment interactions in the pathogenesis of autism-like neurodevelopmental damage: A mouse model | $60,000.00 | 2010 | 2574
Gene-environment interactions in the pathogenesis of autism-like neurodevelopmental damage: A mouse model | $60,000.00 | 2008 | 2574