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

A non-human primate autism model based on maternal immune activation  

Based on epidemiological evidence that viral infection of pregnant women can strongly increase the risk for autism in their offspring, a mouse model of maternal immune activation has been established. Pregnant mice are given a respiratory infection at midgestation, and the offspring display a series of behavioral abnormalities consistent with those seen in autism, including deficits in social interaction and investigation of novel objects, as well as increased anxiety under mildly stressful conditions. Moreover, these offspring exhibit a specific type of neuropathology that is often seen in autism: spatially localized deficit of Purkinje cells in the cerebellum. Now that the mouse model has shown behavioral and histological abnormalities consistent with those found in autism, it is important to extend this work to primates. These animals possess a behavioral repertoire, such as the expression and interpretation of facial expressions, which is very homologous with human social behavior. Non-human primates therefore provide a sensitive indicator of impairments in social behavior and communication. A valid primate model of autism would also provide a unique resource for evaluating therapeutic interventions. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $106,670.00
Project Number 5P51RR000169-48
Principal Investigator Patterson, Paul
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 A non-human primate autism model based on maternal immune activation (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects A non-human primate autism model based on maternal immune activation | $114,105.00 | 2010 | 2P51RR000169-49
A non-human primate autism model based on maternal immune activation | $81,333.00 | 2008 | P51RR000169-47