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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a broad spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by three central behavioral symptoms: impaired social interaction, impaired social communication, and restricted and repetitive behaviors. However, the symptoms are heterogeneous among patients and a number of ASD mouse models have been generated containing mutations that mimic the mutations found in human patients with ASD. Each mouse model was found to display a unique set of repetitive behaviors. In this review, we summarize the repetitive behaviors of the ASD mouse models and variations found in their neural mechanisms including molecular and electrophysiological features. We also propose potential neuronal mechanisms underlying these repetitive behaviors, focusing on the role of the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic circuits and brain regions associated with both social and repetitive behaviors. Further understanding of molecular and circuitry mechanisms of the repetitive behaviors associated with ASD is necessary to aid the development of effective treatments for these disorders.
Kim, H., Lim, C. S., & Kaang, B. K. (2016, January 20). Neuronal mechanisms and circuits underlying repetitive behaviors in mouse models of autism spectrum disorder. Behavioral and Brain Functions. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12993-016-0087-y