Project Detail
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Identification of aberrantly methylated genes in autism: The role of advanced paternal age  

Dr. Gingrich and his colleagues plan to study a mouse model of autism to investigate whether advanced paternal age is linked to a higher frequency of genomic aberrations. Recent surveys have found that children of older fathers have a higher risk of developing several disorders, including autism. Gingrich and colleagues have bred female mice with either young or old male mice to generate distinct mouse lines. In preliminary studies, mice with older fathers show several behavioral traits often observed in people with autism. How aging alters sperm viability remains unclear. One possibility is that, over time, sperm stem cells acquire genomic aberrations such as mutations or an abnormal pattern of DNA modifications such as methylation. To examine this possibility, Gingrich and colleagues plan to use an unbiased, high-throughput method to study the methylation patterns in genomes isolated from the brain tissue of mice with young or old fathers. They hope to find specific regions in the genome that are more susceptible to age-related mis-methylation and to identify nearby genes that could be responsible for the abnormal behavior in the pups of older male mice. The researchers then plan to determine whether these loci are atypically methylated — and so misregulated — in people with autism. Project Status
ONGOING

2009

Funder Simons Foundation
Fiscal Year Funding $499,780.32
Project Number SFARI-07-17
Principal Investigator Gingrich, Jay
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 3: What Caused This To Happen And Can This Be Prevented? (Risk Factors)
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 3LB. Identify genetic risk factors in at least 50% of people with ASD by 2014. IACC Recommended Budget: $33,900,000 over 6 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc.
State/Country New York
Web Link 1 Identification of aberrantly methylated genes in autism: The role of advanced paternal age (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Identification of aberrantly methylated genes in autism: The role of advanced paternal age | $374,835.28 | 2010 | SFARI-07-17
Identification of aberrantly methylated genes in autism: The role of advanced paternal age | $499,780.32 | 2008 | Project number unavailable