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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

Novel animal models of impaired social behavior and anxiety: A role for MeCP2

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Reyes, Teresa

Description

Description

Environmental factors contribute to the risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and a greater understanding of these factors is needed. Adverse prenatal conditions can affect the development of the infant brain, increasing the risk for neurobehavioral disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or anxiety. In total, small-for-gestational age (SGA) or large-for-gestational age (LGA) may affect over half a million American infants every year, and epidemiological evidence indicates that both SGA and LGA infants are at an increased risk for ASD. Researchers have developed two mouse models based on an adverse in utero environment that result in SGA or LGA offspring by feeding pregnant dams a low protein diet or high fat diet, respectively. Expression levels of the Rett Syndrome gene, MeCP2, are significantly different in both SGA and LGA offspring, identifying MeCP2 expression as a potential important epigenetic mechanism responsive to adverse in utero conditions. In this study, researchers will use these animal models to examine brain and behavior changes in response to adverse in utero conditions. Specifically, researchers will examine: 1) social and anxiety-related behaviors in SGA and LGA offspring and 2) genome-wide gene expression changes in SGA and LGA mice. The development of these models will allow for future studies of neurobiological mechanisms that link adverse in utero environment and altered social and emotional behaviors with an eventual goal of the development of targeted therapeutics and interventions.

Funder

Funder

National Institutes of Health

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

240000

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2010-2012

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. 3LC. Determine the effect of at least five environmental factors on the risk for subtypes of ASD in the pre- and early postnatal period of development by 2015. IACC Recommended Budget: $25,100,000 over 7 years.

Project Link

Project Link

Novel animal models of impaired social behavior and anxiety: A role for MeCP2 (External web link)

Institution

Institution

University of Pennsylvania

State/Country

State/Country

Pennsylvania

Project Number

Project Number

1R21MH091372-01

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Federal

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

N/A

 
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