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Extracerebral Dysfunction in Animal Models of Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Elisa L. Hill-Yardin
  • Sonja J. McKeown
  • Gaia Novarino
  • Andreas M. GrabruckerEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Anatomy, Embryology and Cell Biology book series (ADVSANAT, volume 224)

Abstract

Genetic factors might be largely responsible for the development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that alone or in combination with specific environmental risk factors trigger the pathology. Multiple mutations identified in ASD patients that impair synaptic function in the central nervous system are well studied in animal models. How these mutations might interact with other risk factors is not fully understood though. Additionally, how systems outside of the brain are altered in the context of ASD is an emerging area of research. Extracerebral influences on the physiology could begin in utero and contribute to changes in the brain and in the development of other body systems and further lead to epigenetic changes. Therefore, multiple recent studies have aimed at elucidating the role of gene-environment interactions in ASD. Here we provide an overview on the extracerebral systems that might play an important associative role in ASD and review evidence regarding the potential roles of inflammation, trace metals, metabolism, genetic susceptibility, enteric nervous system function and the microbiota of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract on the development of endophenotypes in animal models of ASD. By influencing environmental conditions, it might be possible to reduce or limit the severity of ASD pathology.

Keywords

Autism Spectrum Disorder Autism Spectrum Disorder Enteric Nervous System Autism Spectrum Disorder Patient Autism Spectrum Disorder Phenotype 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

AMG was supported by the Else-Kröner-Fresenius Stiftung (214_A251) and the junior professor programme of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and would like to acknowledge networking support by the COST Action TD1304. ELH-Y was supported by a Dyason Fellowship award (University of Melbourne) and a Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences Faculty Fellowship (University of Melbourne).

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisa L. Hill-Yardin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sonja J. McKeown
    • 3
    • 4
  • Gaia Novarino
    • 5
  • Andreas M. Grabrucker
    • 6
    • 7
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Health and Biomedical SciencesRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Anatomy and NeuroscienceUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Anatomy and Developmental BiologyMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  5. 5.Institute of Science and Technology AustriaKlosterneuburgAustria
  6. 6.WG Molecular Analysis of Synaptopathies, Department of NeurologyNeurocenter of Ulm UniversityUlmGermany
  7. 7.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland

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