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

Identifying impairments in synaptic connectivity in mouse models of ASD  

Impaired communication between neurons, or synaptic transmission, is thought to underlie autism-associated behaviors. The goal of this research project is to identify specific deficits in synaptic transmission as novel targets for future therapy. Shank3 is a postsynaptic scaffolding protein required for normal synapse maturation and function, and mutations and copy number variations in the Shank3 gene have been directly implicated in heritable autism with mental retardation in humans. Our laboratory will use genetic mouse models of autism containing regional deletions of the Shank3 gene to 1) Understand how the structure and function of hippocampal synapses are impaired by region-specific mutations in the Shank3 gene, and 2) Determine if each mutation contributes to autism-associated deficits in learning and memory. This thorough, interdisciplinary strategy will identify subcellular mechanisms that will immediately translate into pre-clinical studies for treatment of autism-associated behavioral deficits. Project Status


Funder Autism Science Foundation
Fiscal Year Funding $40,000.00
Current Award Period 2010-2011
Project Number n/a
Principal Investigator Speed, Haley
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help? (Treatments)
Subcategory Model Systems/Therapeutic Targets
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 University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
State/Country Texas
Web Link 1 Identifying impairments in synaptic connectivity in mouse models of ASD (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Identifying impairments in synaptic connectivity in mouse models of ASD | $0.00 | 2011 | N/A