Navigation Links
Serotonin plays role in many autism cases, studies confirm
Date:2/24/2011

SAN ANTONIO (Feb. 24, 2011) Mouse models are yielding important clues about the nature of autism spectrum disorders, which impact an estimated one in 110 children in the U.S.[1] In labs at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, researchers are studying strains of mice that inherently mimic the repetitive and socially impaired behaviors present in these disorders.

Georgianna Gould, Ph.D., research assistant professor of physiology in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, is eyeing the role that serotonin plays in autism spectrum disorders.

Serotonin is known for giving a sense of well-being and happiness. It is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that acts like a radio tower in the brain conveying signals among cells called neurons. Thirty percent of autism cases may have a serotonin component.[2]

In a recent paper in the Journal of Neurochemistry, Dr. Gould and colleagues showed that a medication called buspirone improved the social behaviors of mice. Buspirone is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in adults as an anti-anxiety and antidepressant adjuvant medication.

Some genetic variations result in diminished transmission of serotonin between neurons. Buspirone increased transmission by partially mimicking the effects of serotonin at cellular sites called receptors.

Reactions to newly encountered mouse

Social interaction behaviors of the mice were measured by placing them in a three-chamber social interaction test and positioning a "stranger" mouse in one of the chambers. Buspirone-treated mice spent more time in the chamber with the stranger mouse than untreated mice and more time sniffing the stranger.

"No animal model is completely characteristic of humans, and we're far from saying that buspirone is a treatment for behaviors of autistic people," Dr. Gould said. "But this does offer further proof that serotonin is involved in a significant proportion of autism cases."

Support from the San Antonio Area Foundation made the project possible. Co-authors of the journal article are Julie Hensler, Ph.D., and Teri Frosto Burke, M.S., of the pharmacology department at the Health Science Center; Lynette Daws, Ph.D., of the university's physiology department in whose lab the work was conducted; and Robert Benno, Ph.D., and Emmanuel Onaivi, Ph.D., of the biology department at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J.

2nd serotonin-related avenue

Dr. Gould now plans to study the impact of a diet rich in the amino acid, tryptophan, on the social behavior of the mice. Tryptophan is a biochemical precursor of serotonin, which means it is converted into serotonin during the metabolic process. Foods such as turkey are rich in tryptophan.

"We are going to supplement the diet of mice with tryptophan to see if behavior improves, and also reduce it to see if behavior worsens," Dr. Gould said. The future study of tryptophan is funded by the Morrison Trust, a San Antonio trust that lists nutrition as one of its topics of interest.


'/>"/>

Contact: Will Sansom
sansom@uthscsa.edu
210-567-2579
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Gestational diabetes linked to serotonin and dietary protein
2. Inhibiting serotonin in gut could cure osteoporosis
3. Lack of happiness hormone serotonin in the brain causes impaired maternal behavior in mice
4. Researchers iron out new role for serotonin
5. Measles virus plays role in Pagets disease of bone, Pitt-led team says
6. Natural dissolved organic matter plays dual role in cycling of mercury
7. Allô allô! Moms voice plays special role in activating newborns brain
8. New type of liquid crystal promises to improve performance of digital displays
9. Academys mollusk collection plays key role in Gulf oil impact study
10. Study finds protein that plays key role in early embryonic development
11. McGill plays important role in new global cancer-research network
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Serotonin plays role in many autism cases, studies confirm
(Date:3/20/2017)... -- At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel ... Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand together with the Japanese Prime Minster ... country. At the largest German biometrics company the two government leaders could ... recognition as well as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics system.   ... ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... Future of security: Biometric Face Matching software  Continue ... ... to match face pictures against each other or against large databases. The recognition ... ... software for biometric Face Matching on the market. The speed is at 100 ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... March 7, 2017 Brandwatch , the leading social ... The Prince,s Trust to uncover insights to support its reporting, ... The UK,s leading youth charity will be using Brandwatch ... and get a better understanding of the topics and issues that ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Mass spectrometry is becoming more widely for clinical testing and ... its potential to perform challenging analyses in complex matrices and sample types. While mass ... for it to be routinely used for medical testing. , In this ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... time members of the Modular Building Institute (MBI), an international modular trade organization, ... the permanent modular category for the Pagliuca Life Lab at Harvard University. The ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... 2017  The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) today announced ... research organization as its newest member. David Cox ... North America ), will serve as his ... "We,re pleased to have Ipsen and Dr. Cox join ... . "We welcome their insights in helping us identify ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... 2017 , ... LabKey and collaborator Just Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Just) ... LabKey Biologics . Built in collaboration with Just and designed with input from ... research teams tools for biological entity registration, assay data integration, and workflow management ...
Breaking Biology Technology: