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

Effect of oxytocin receptor inhibitor (atosiban) during the perinatal period and prevalence of autism spectrum disorders  

Among environmental factors that may confer risk for autism, perinatal factors are prominent. Based on multiple lines of research, it has been hypothesized that activity of the hormone oxytocin – a 'social' hormone that mediates affiliative behaviors in many species including humans – may be a perinatal factor that impacts the risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This study will take an epidemiological approach to determining the roles of Pitocin and Atosiban in ASD. Dr. Ebstein and colleagues will recruit mother and child pairs from four categories: mothers having received Atosiban during pregnancy; mothers having received Nifedipine, a drug used to prevent preterm labor that does not affect oxytocin signaling; mothers that received Pitocin during labor; and a matched control group of mothers who received no drugs and delivered at term. Children of these mothers will be screened for neurodevelopmental delays, and those testing positive will undergo further evaluations for ASD. Project Status
ONGOING

2010

Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $122,950.00
Current Award Period 2009-2011
Project Number 2499
Principal Investigator Ebstein, Richard
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 3: What Caused This To Happen And Can This Be Prevented? (Causes)
Subcategory Environment
Strategic Plan Objective New! Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 3SH. Support at least three studies of special populations or use existing databases to inform our understanding of environmental risk factors for ASD in pregnancy and the early postnatal period by 2012. Such studies could include: o Comparisons of populations differing in geography, gender, ethnic background, exposure history (e.g., prematurity, maternal infection, nutritional deficiencies, toxins), and migration patterns; and o Comparisons of phenotype (e.g., cytokine profiles), in children with and without a history of autistic regression, adverse events following immunization (such as fever and seizures), and mitochondrial impairment. These studies may also include comparisons of phenotype between children with regressive ASD and their siblings. oEmphasis on environmental factors that influence prenatal and early postnatal development is particularly of high priority. Epidemiological studies should pay special attention to include racially and ethnically diverse populations. IACC Recommended Budget: $12,000,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution Hebrew University
State/Country Israel
Web Link 1 Effect of oxytocin receptor inhibitor (atosiban) during the perinatal period and prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Effect of oxytocin receptor inhibitor (Atosiban) during the perinatal period and prevalence of autism spectrum disorders | $150,000.00 | 2008 | 2499
Effect of oxytocin receptor inhibitor (atosiban) during the perinatal period and prevalence of autism spectrum disorders | $131,871.00 | 2009 | 2499