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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

Determining a potential causal link between the human microbiome and autism symptoms

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Sharon, Gil

Description

Description

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be a devastating disease with a wide spectrum of manifestations that involve several behavioral deficits and, often, gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction. A non-genetic (yet heritable) component of human physiology is the microbiome – indigenous microorganisms that have been implicated in immunologic, metabolic, and neurologic diseases. Gut bacterial communities, fecal and serum metabolites differ between ASD patients and matched controls, as well as in animal models of ASD between symptomatic and control mice. Because the microbiome rapidly adapts to dietary, chemical and infectious exposure, and is thought to be shaped by the host and impact disease outcomes, it represents an environmental factor that may contribute to ASD. The central hypothesis to be tested is that the ASD microbiome adopts a pathologic state, and that transplant of microbiota from ASD patients into germ-free mice will transfer behavioral deficits. Exciting preliminary data has been generated that supports this concept. The project will determine whether the microbiome from ASD patients plays a causative role in promoting symptoms associated with ASD, and will test molecular mechanisms by which gut bacteria alter behavior. Developing personalized animal models for ASD will provide revolutionary tools and concepts to test the contribution of environmental etiologies to this currently enigmatic disorder, as well as advance novel approaches for treatment of ASD.

Funder

Funder

Autism Speaks

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

59700

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2015-2018

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

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

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 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

Determining a potential causal link between the human microbiome and autism symptoms (External web link)

Institution

Institution

California Institute of Technology

State/Country

State/Country

California

Project Number

Project Number

9718

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

N/A

 
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