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Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
Autism Research Database
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC)
 
Project Element Element Description

Project Title

Project Title

The role of serotonin in social bonding in animal models

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Simon, Rebecca

Description

Description

A high level of serotonin in blood is the most consistent neurochemical change seen in autism and in family members of those with autism. In addition, the neuropeptide oxytocin is increasingly being studied and utilized as a therapeutic treatment in individuals with autism as well as being an important component in mediating social behavior. While it is known that serotonin stimulates oxytocin release, the relationship between serotonin and oxytocin has been little studied with regard to its effects on social behavior. Some commonly used antidepressants such as Prozac, which typically act to increase serotonin availability, have been increasingly used during pregnancy over the past decades, and have been identified as a significant risk factor for autism, perhaps contributing to the increase in autism prevalence.  This study will investigate the role of serotonin-oxytocin interactions in social behavior in two monogamous animal species, the titi monkey and the prairie vole. In three experiments, we will examine the effects of prenatal exposure to antidepressants and chronic pharmacological activation of inhibitory serotonin receptors on social behavior, and differences in receptor distribution in the brain by sex and social status. By studying these processes it may be possible to define a mechanism tying in the high serotonin found in autism with the mechanism of autism brain development.

Funder

Funder

Autism Science Foundation

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

0

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2012-2013

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 3: What Caused This To Happen And Can This Be Prevented?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 3SK. Support two studies and a workshop that facilitate the development of vertebrate and invertebrate model systems for the exploration of environmental risks and their interaction with gender and genetic susceptibilities for ASD by 2012. IACC Recommended Budget: $1,535,000 over 3 years.

Project Link

Project Link

The role of serotonin in social bonding in animal models (External web link)

Institution

Institution

University of California, Davis

State/Country

State/Country

California

Project Number

Project Number

n/a

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

The role of serotonin in social bonding in animal models | 30000 | 2012 | N/A

 
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