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PLoS One. 2011;6(10):e26077. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026077. Epub 2011 Oct 7.

mGluR5-antagonist mediated reversal of elevated stereotyped, repetitive behaviors in the VPA model of autism.

Author information

  • 1Translational Neuroscience Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are highly disabling developmental disorders with a population prevalence of 1-3%. Despite a strong genetic etiology, there are no current therapeutic options that target the core symptoms of ASD. Emerging evidence suggests that dysfunction of glutamatergic signaling, in particular through metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) receptors, may contribute to phenotypic deficits and may be appropriate targets for pharmacologic intervention. This study assessed the therapeutic potential of 2-methyl-6-phenylethyl-pyrididine (MPEP), an mGluR5-receptor antagonist, on repetitive and anxiety-like behaviors in the valproic acid (VPA) mouse model of autism. Mice were exposed prenatally on day E13 to VPA and assessed for repetitive self-grooming and marble burying behaviors as adults. Anxiety-like behavior and locomotor activity were measured in an open-field. VPA-exposed mice displayed increased repetitive and anxiety-like behaviors, consistent with previously published results. Across both marble burying and self-grooming assays, MPEP significantly reduced repetitive behaviors in VPA-treated mice, but had no effect on locomotor activity. These results are consistent with emerging preclinical literature that mGluR5-antagonists may have therapeutic efficacy for core symptoms of autism.

PMID:
22016815
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3189241
Free PMC Article

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