Accession Number:

ADA589233

Title:

Preclinical Testing of Novel Oxytocin Receptor Activators in Models of Autism Phenotypes

Descriptive Note:

Annual rept. 8 Aug 2012-7 Sep 2013

Corporate Author:

NORTH CAROLINA UNIV AT CHAPEL HILL

Report Date:

2013-09-01

Pagination or Media Count:

23.0

Abstract:

Currently, there are no established pharmaceutical strategies that effectively treat core autism spectrum disorder ASD symptoms, including pervasive social deficits and repetitive behaviors. The oxytocin pathway has an important role in normal human social behaviors, and oxytocin dysregulation has been implicated in ASD-associated behavioral symptoms. There is now emerging evidence that oxytocin has therapeutic efficacy in ameliorating core ASD symptoms associated with social behavior. However, from the standpoint of drug discovery, oxytocin is a poor candidate as a standard clinical treatment. Oxytocin is rapidly metabolized and has low brain penetrance with peripheral administration. The goal of the proposed studies is to discover new small-molecule compounds that enhance oxytocin signaling, as novel drug interventions for social deficits and abnormal repetitive behavior relevant to ASD. In this second year, we have published our findings that oxytocin can effectively overcome representative ASD phenotypes in two mouse lines that model ASD-like behaviors, including overt alterations in social behavior, and we have extended this work to a genetic model of social impairment, the Grin1 knockdown mouse. We have recently found that oxytocin has remarkable prosocial effects in Grin1 mice. We have also evaluated one synthetic oxytocin agonist, Compound 39, and one oxytocin metabolite, for efficacy against social deficits in BALBcByJ mice. Overall, we have successfully validated three mouse models for as preclinical screens for compounds targeting the oxytocin receptor, and provided leads for a drug discovery campaign for social deficits and other core autism symptoms.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE