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

The integration of interneurons into cortical microcircuits  

Gordon Fishell and his colleagues suspect that abnormal development of cortical interneurons — specialized nerve cells that relay signals from sensory neurons to motor neurons — is involved in this imbalance. The researchers are attempting to understand how specific subclasses of cortical interneurons develop and how they are integrated into cortical networks. To explore whether abnormal cortical interneuron development is an immediate cause of autism, Fishell and colleagues are building a profile of the genes expressed in this cell population in mice. Fishell's team is also using a new fluorescent labeling technique to map specific subclasses of cortical interneurons and their connections, combined with measurements of electric signal strength, to examine how disruptions in autism-linked genes can affect cortical networks in mouse models of autism. The researchers hope that this multi-pronged approach will allow them to identify direct links between autism-linked genes and malfunctions in cortical microcircuits. Project Status


Funder Simons Foundation
Fiscal Year Funding $37,500.00
Project Number 94534
Principal Investigator Fishell, Gordon
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? Private
Institution New York University School of Medicine
State/Country New York
Web Link 1 The integration of interneurons into cortical microcircuits (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects The integration of interneurons into cortical microcircuits | $150,000.00 | 2010 | 94534
The integration of interneurons into cortical microcircuits | $75,000.00 | 2011 | 94534