Animal Models of Autism Spectrum Disorder ({ASD}): A Synaptic-Level Approach to Autistic-Like Behavior in Mice

  • Shinoda Y
  • Sadakata T
  • Furuichi T
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Autism spectrum disorder ({ASD}) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders and is thought to be closely associated with genetic factors. It is noteworthy that many {ASD}-associated genes reported by genome-wide association studies encode proteins related to synaptic formation, transmission, and plasticity. Therefore, it is essential to elucidate the relationship between deficiencies in these genes and the relevant {ASD}-related phenotypes using synaptic and behavioral phenotypic analysis of mice that are genetically modified for genes related to {ASD} (e.g., knockout or mutant mice). In this review, we focus on the behavioral-, cellular-, and circuit-level phenotypes, including synaptic formation and function, of several knockout mouse models with genetic mutations related to {ASD}. Moreover, we introduce our recent findings on the possible association of the dense-core vesicle secretion-related gene {CAPS}2/{CADPS}2 with {ASD} by using knockout mice. Finally, we discuss the usefulness and limitations of various mouse models with single gene mutations for understanding {ASD}.

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  • Yo Shinoda

  • Tetsushi Sadakata

  • Teiichi Furuichi

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