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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

Serotonin, corpus callosum, and autism

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Lin, Rick

Description

Description

The most consistent anatomical characteristic of ASD is a reduction in the size of the corpus callosum - a sign of underconnectivity between the two cortical hemispheres. The neurotransmitter serotonin (5HT) plays a critical role during early brain development, and 5HT synthesis is altered in autistic individuals at early ages. The most challenging and clinically relevant aspects of this proposal is the attempt to link the recent drastic increase of ASD to the increased number of mothers taking antidepressant drugs, namely selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), during pregnancy and nursing. The central hypothesis in this study is that abnormal regulation of 5HT during early brain development interferes with myelin formation and the establishment of normal inter-hemispheric connections. The proposed experiments are designed to address this hypothesis by studying anatomical, neurochemical, physiological, and behavioral effects following increased serotonin activation in rats just prior to and after birth. Rat mothers and rat pups will be treated with the common anti-depressant citalopram (the most selective SSRI). Results from this study may help develop a future animal model for ASD and could hold the key to linking serotonin dysfunction during early brain development to increased rates of maternal SSRI usage during pregnancy and nursing.

Funder

Funder

National Institutes of Health

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

303250

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2008-2012

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 4SB. Standardize and validate at least 20 model systems (e.g., cellular and/or animal) that replicate features of ASD and will allow identification of specific molecular targets or neural circuits amenable to existing or new interventions by 2012. IACC Recommended Budget: $75,000,000 over 5 years.

Project Link

Project Link

Serotonin, corpus callosum, and autism (External web link)

Institution

Institution

University of Mississippi Medical Center

State/Country

State/Country

Mississippi

Project Number

Project Number

5R01MH084194-03

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Federal

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Serotonin, corpus callosum, and autism | 303250 | 2009 | 5R01MH084194-02
Serotonin, corpus callosum, and autism | 327250 | 2008 | R01MH084194-01

 
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