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

Modeling and pharmacologic treatment of autism spectrum disorders in Drosophila  

It is important to develop laboratory based models of autism, since such models can be readily used to generate and test hypotheses and to investigate, characterize, and manipulate biological mechanisms in much more detail that would be possible using human subjects. Drosophila, the fruit fly, is such an advantageous experimental model and a high throughput system. The present study plans to create the Drosophila equivalent of the genetic abnormalities that underlie syndromes such as Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, neurofibromatosis type 1, tuberous sclerosis complex type 1, tuberous sclerosis complex type 2 and Rett syndrome – all of which are associated with autism spectrum disorders. The study will also examine any additional impact of a combination of one of these genes plus the FMR1 (fragile X) gene. The study will examine what effects such genetic manipulations have on biochemical pathways in the brain and how this relates to behaviors. The social and memory aspects of Drosophila courtship will be used as surrogate markers for impairments in social interactions and cognitive ability in autism. Alterations in the architecture of the brain areas that control these Drosophila behaviors will also be examined. Furthermore, the research seeks to identify pharmacological agents that can rescue the phenotype. Project Status
ONGOING

2010

Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $127,500.00
Current Award Period 2007-2011
Project Number 2087
Principal Investigator McDonald, Thomas
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 Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
State/Country New York
Web Link 1 Modeling and pharmacologic treatment of autism spectrum disorders in Drosophila (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Modeling and pharmacologic treatment of autism spectrum disorders in Drosophila | $0.00 | 2009 | 2087
Modeling and pharmacologic treatment of autism spectrum disorders in Drosophila | $150,000.00 | 2008 | 2087