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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

Neuroprotective effects of oxytocin receptor signaling in the enteric nervous system

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Welch, Martha

Description

Description

The correlation between gastrointestinal symptoms and ASD is well established. Oxytocin (OT) and oxytocin receptor (OTR) abnormalities have also been documented in ASD. Oxytocin (OT) is a hormone that is found in breast milk and is expressed by enteric neurons. We discovered the expression and developmental regulation of OTR in the enteric nervous system and gastrointestinal epithelium. We also showed that combined administration of secretin and OT inhibits chronic colitis and associated activation of forebrain neurons. In this work, we are further elucidating the roles of OT and its receptor (OTR) in gut function generally, and in mucosal barrier function specifically. By comparing OTRnull (OTR knock-out) mice with wild-type mice, we are testing the hypothesis that OT/OTR signaling provides protection to the bowel and enteric neurons. If correct, this could provide a link between OTR gene polymorphisms in autistic patients and abnormalities in their gut function. The exciting aspect of this work is that the elucidation of the mechanism by which OT and OTR signaling is mucosal- and neuro-protective could lead to a better understanding of the developmental role of OT/OTR and its possible protective effects against adverse behavioral and physiological outcomes in ASD patients, especially high-risk infants, such as preterm infants.

Funder

Funder

Autism Research Institute

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

25000

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2011-2013

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

2O. Not specific to Question 2 objectives

Project Link

Project Link

Neuroprotective effects of oxytocin receptor signaling in the enteric nervous system (External web link)

Institution

Institution

Columbia University

State/Country

State/Country

New York

Project Number

Project Number

2011-1

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Neuroprotective effects of oxytocin receptor signaling in the enteric nervous system | 25000 | 2012 | 2011-12
Neuroprotective effects of oxytocin receptor signaling in the enteric nervous system | 0 | 2013 | 2011-12

 
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