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:11/17/2016)... Nov. 17, 2016  AIC announces that it has just released a new white ... require high-performance scale-out plus high speed data transfer storage solutions. Photo - ... ... ... Setting up a high performance computing or ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... Technology, Inc. ("xG" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: XGTI, XGTIW), ... in challenging operating environments, announced its results for the ... a conference call to discuss these results on November ... Key Recent Accomplishments ... acquire Vislink Communication Systems. The purchase is expected to ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... LOS ANGELES , June 22, 2016 ... of identity management and verification solutions, has ... cutting edge software solutions for Visitor Management, ... ® provides products that add functional ... The partnership provides corporations and venues with ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... advanced technology applications, introduces the 5th generation, ultra-bright, Laser-Driven Light Source, the EQ-77, ... Light Source (LDLS™) technology, the EQ-77 offers higher radiance and irradiance from a ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , ... November 30, 2016 , ... On 28 November ... symbols for four elements: nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts), and oganesson (Og), ... public review, the names earlier proposed by the discoverers have been approved by the ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... development of precision treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced that all five of ... November 3, 2016) blocked propagation of toxic, prion-like forms of Amyloid beta (Aß) ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... November 30, 2016 Teil einer ... ... , Aptuit LLC ... zu haben. Zusätzliche 150.000 neuartige Substanzen haben die Prüfsammlung ... ausgewählt, um die starken Entdeckungsfähigkeiten des Unternehmens zu erweitern. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: