Author(s): Mehta MV, Gandal MJ, Siegel SJ
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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.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Autism-Open Access