Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) present a wide range of symptoms characterized by altered sociability, compromised communication and stereotypic/repetitive behaviors. These symptoms are caused by developmental changes, but the mechanisms remain largely unknown. Some lines of evidence suggest an impairment of the cholesterol/isoprenoid metabolism in the brain as a possible cause, but systematic analyses in rodent models of ASDs are lacking. Prenatal exposure to the antiepileptic drug valproate (VPA) is a risk factor for ASDs in humans and generates a well-established model for the disease in rodents. Here, we studied cholesterol/isoprenoid metabolism in different brain areas of infant, adolescent and adult rats prenatally exposed to VPA. VPA-treated rats present autistic-like symptoms, they show changes in cholesterol/isoprenoid homeostasis in some brain areas, a decreased number of oligodendrocytes and impaired myelination in the hippocampus. Together, our data suggest a relation between brain cholesterol/isoprenoid homeostasis and ASDs.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 21 2018|
- 3-hydroxy 3-methylglutaryl Coenzyme A reductase
- valproic acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas