The pathophysiology of Autism: developmental trajectories and neuronal networks underlying pathological behaviour in mouse models

Year of award: 2016


  • Dr Stephane Baudouin

    Cardiff University

Project summary

The variations in the pathogenesis and symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are two important factors limiting the development of new therapeutic strategies. Unravelling the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the different pathological behaviours is a way to better understand the complexity of the disorders and develop new treatments. Studies on mouse models for ASD have begun to reveal aspects of ASD neuropathology, but our knowledge on causal links between neuronal networks and behaviours remains limited.

We will look at several mouse models for ASD and identify general neuronal mechanisms underlying ASD-related behaviours. We will define the developmental trajectory of pathological behaviours and when interventions can be made to genetically rescue behaviour phenotypes. We will also identify causal relationships between neuronal circuits and pathological behaviours.

In the long term, we plan to use this knowledge to extend our approach to selected conditional mouse models carrying microdeletions frequently found in patients and this will inform new therapeutic strategies.