Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: A neuroligin-3 mutation implicated in autism causes abnormal aggression and increases repetitive behavior in mice
Austin Authors: Bornstein, Joel C;Burrows, Emma L;Churilov, Leonid ;Hannan, Anthony J;Hill-Yardin, Elisa L;Koyama, Lynn;Laskaris, Liliana
Affiliation: Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Kenneth Myer Building, Melbourne Brain Centre, Cnr Genetics Lane and Royal Pde, Parkville, Victoria 3010 Australia
Department of Physiology, The University of Melbourne, Royal Pde, Parkville, Victoria 3010 Australia
Issue Date: 14-Nov-2015
Publication information: Molecular Autism 2015, vol. 6 p. 52
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Aggression is common in patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) along with the core symptoms of impairments in social communication and repetitive behavior. Risperidone, an atypical antipsychotic, is widely used to treat aggression in ASD. In order to understand the neurobiological underpinnings of these challenging behaviors, a thorough characterisation of behavioral endophenotypes in animal models is required. METHODS: We investigated aggression in mice containing the ASD-associated R451C (arginine to cysteine residue 451 substitution) mutation in neuroligin-3 (NL3). Furthermore, we sought to verify social interaction impairments and assess olfaction, anxiety, and repetitive and restrictive behavior in NL3(R451C) mutant mice. RESULTS: We show a pronounced elevation in aggressive behavior in NL3(R451C) mutant mice. Treatment with risperidone reduced this aggression to wild-type (WT) levels. Juvenile and adult social interactions were also investigated, and subtle differences in initiation of interaction were seen in juvenile NL3(R451C) mice. No genotype differences in olfactory discrimination or anxiety were observed indicating that aggression was not dependent on altered olfaction, stress response, or social preference. We also describe repetitive behavior in NL3(R451C) mice as assessed by a clinically relevant object exploration task. CONCLUSIONS: The presence of aberrant aggression and other behavioral phenotypes in NL3(R451C) mice consistent with clinical traits strengthen face validity of this model of ASD. Furthermore, we demonstrate predictive validity in this model through the reversal of the aggressive phenotype with risperidone. This is the first demonstration that risperidone can ameliorate aggression in an animal model of ASD and will inform mechanistic and therapeutic research into the neurobiology underlying abnormal behaviors in ASD.
DOI: 10.1186/s13229-015-0055-7
PubMed URL:
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

Show full item record

Google ScholarTM


Items in AHRO are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.