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

Epigenetics, hormones and sex differences in autism incidence  

Across studies, the ratio of males to females affected with autism is approximately 4:1. Basic research on sex differences in behavior has shown that differences in circulating levels of gonadal hormones during fetal and infant development are responsible for most sexual dimorphism in adults. For normal male development to occur, sex hormones like testosterone act through estrogen receptors, which in turn also activate other genes and proteins. The activation of certain genes through the estrogen receptor, then, may partially explain the sex difference. The body produces natural testosterone and estrogen but environmental chemicals may mimic these compounds and produce deleterious effects during development. This study will use estrogen receptor knockout mice to determine sex-differences on many autism-like behaviors in mice as well as to identify genes which are affected by bisphenol A (BPA) in order to identify the mechanism of action of this environmental chemical and whether it may be linked to autism. Project Status


Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $0.00
Project Number 4802
Principal Investigator Rissman, Emile
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. 3SF. Initiate studies on at least 10 environmental factors identified in the recommendations from the 2007 IOM report "Autism and the Environment: Challenges and Opportunities for Research" as potential causes of ASD by 2012. Estimated cost $56,000,000 over 2 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution University of Virginia
State/Country Virginia
Web Link 1 Epigenetics, hormones and sex differences in autism incidence (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Epigenetics, hormones and sex differences in autism incidence | $85,000.00 | 2010 | 4802
Epigenetics, hormones and sex differences in autism incidence | $100,000.00 | 2008 | 4802