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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2012 Sep;14(3):293-305.

Translational animal models of autism and neurodevelopmental disorders.

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Robert Chason Chair in Translational Research, M.I.N.D. Institute Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.


Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder whose diagnosis is based on three behavioral criteria: unusual reciprocal social interactions, deficits in communication, and stereotyped repetitive behaviors with restricted interests. A large number of de novo single gene mutations and chromosomal deletions are associated with autism spectrum disorders. Based on the strong genetic evidence, mice with targeted mutations in homologous genes have been generated as translational research tools. Mouse models of autism have revealed behavioral and biological outcomes of mutations in risk genes. The field is now poised to employ the most robust phenotypes in the most replicable mouse models for preclinical screening of novel therapeutics.


Fragile X; anxiety; autism; cognitive; genetics; mGluRS antagonist; mouse model; neurodevelopmental disorder; olfactory; repetitive behavior; self-grooming; social behavior; therapeutics; tuberous sclerosis; ultrasonic vocalization

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