Autism is a serious congenital neurodevelopmental disease in children. According to statistics, there is a person with autism spectrum disorder in about 100 people around the world. But there has been no effective treatment for autism. In the early morning of March 2nd, the team of Professor Luo Jianhong of Zhejiang University made new breakthroughs in the study of autism, which brought new hope for the treatment of human autism.
In March 1st at American, Professor Luo Jianhong presented the research on Neuron, which is the top journal of neuroscience, about the social behavior of autism mouse models, and the title named “Gamma Oscillation Dysfunction in mPFC Leads to Social Deficits inNeuroligin 3 R451C Knockin Mice”.
Professor Luo jianhong’s team
This research work for four and a half years, first author are Dr. Cao Yu and Lin Shen, CO corresponding author is Professor Luo Jianhong and Professor Xu Junyu, they are the Department of basic medical scientists at Zhejiang University School of medicine.
The study was based on an autistic mouse with a NL3 gene mutation. The results showed that a specific pattern of abnormal brain waves in the medial prefrontal cortex resulted in social impairments in autistic mice, which could restore the brain waves and overcome social barriers in adult stage by manipulating specific neurons of the cortex. The findings may also be applicable to other autistic models and suggest the feasibility of treating autism in adulthood. This discovery or a new way of thinking for human autism treatment.
Autistic mice regain their social ability
The research is based on the identification of neurolinked gene mutations from autistic patients, and genetic engineering technology. So, although the experiment was in mice, the basic information of genetic defects in the mice was derived from people with autism. That is to say, like humans, mice have NL3 genes, and their function in neural development is similar, which is the scientific basis for inference.
Luo Jianhong said that if human autism has a similar mechanism, it can improve the function of human prefrontal PV neurons by physical or pharmacological means, so as to reconstruct the low frequency oscillation of prefrontal cortex and improve the social ability of autistic patients. The improvement of social defects as a core symptom may also have a positive effect on the intelligence and language development of children with autism.
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