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

Project Title

Project Title

Role of microglial activation in the serotonergic and neuroimmune disturbances underlying autism

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Takei, Nori

Description

Description

Nori Takei, M.D., Ph.D., of Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Japan, is studying the possible role of immune system dysfunction in autism. Dr. Takei notes recent research indicating that microglia, the immune cells of central nervous system, have been found to be activated in autism postmortem brains. Using positron emission tomography (PET), his team observed increased microglial activation in the living brains of people with autism. Generally, microglia are activated in response to any pathological changes in the brain. Dr. Takei's team correlated microglial activation in a portion of the brain with the presence and activity of different neurotransmission systems. Activated microglia secrete either neuroprotective or neurotoxic factors, depending on the context. He hypothesizes that elevated microglial activation observed in the prior PET study has a neurotoxic effect, which leads to disturbances in serotonergic- and other neurotransmission systems. Takei's team will attempt to verify this hypothesis in diverse ways: via neuroimaging; blood studies (in a birth cohort and in adults); animal models; and gene-association studies. If successful, the work could lead to development of biomarkers for autism and new treatment strategies.

Funder

Funder

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

50000

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2009-2012

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 2SA. Support at least four research projects to identify mechanisms of fever, metabolic and/or immune system interactions with the central nervous system that may influence ASD during prenatal-postnatal life by 2010. IACC Recommended Budget: $9,800,000 over 4 years. (Fever studies to be started by 2012.)

Project Link

Project Link

No link available.

Institution

Institution

Hamamatsu University School of Medicine

State/Country

State/Country

Japan

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

Role of microglial activation in the serotonergic and neuroimmune disturbances underlying autism | 0 | 2011 | N/A

 
Back to Top