Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Normal Littermates Behave Like Mice With Autism-Related Mutations

Researchers from Cardiff University at Wales, studied the behavior of mice that carried the mutation that could also be found on specific people with autism. According to Stephane Baudouin, a neurobiologist, published an article on eNeuro of the end results that indicated the social behavior of the mice is impacted by its social ambient.  It is known that a gene that is mutated in some people with autism is called neuroligin-3. Neuroligin-3 is a protein that helps the brain's neurons communicate. While Baudouin noted that mice who lacked the protein, would seem a bit off with what is considered as "normal" behavior , also noticed that non-mutated mice also had similar behavior to the neuroligin-3 lacking mice. A normal social behavior can be considered to sniff other mice. Non-mutated mice living with other non-mutated mice had the same testosterone levels and acted the same as mutated mice. When non-mutated litter-mates and mutated mice reside together, the testosterone level of the mutated mice and non-mutated mice will be less than non-mutated mice that live with mice of similar genetic group. Once the protein was inserted back into the mutated mice, their behavior changed and became "normal" and so did the non-mutated mice.

1 comment:

  1. I did a similar article on bee behavior, specifically autistic behavior exhibited in bees. It's very interesting to see how genetic variation can alter social behavior, and even more interesting to see how inserting the missing gene can correct the behavior. Very cool.