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Accession Number ADA575711
Title Role of Autism Susceptibility Gene, CNTNAP2, in Neural Circuitry for Vocal Communication.
Publication Date Oct 2012
Media Count 8p
Personal Author S. A. White
Abstract The broad long-term objective of this proposal is to develop a novel model of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using the zebra finch songbird. Such a model would be useful in testing therapeutic interventions aimed at remediating autism endophenotypes related to language and social deficits. Songbirds such as the zebra finch, like humans but unlike typical lab animals, learn much of their vocalizations and do so through social interactions. The autism susceptibility gene, Cntnap2, is expressed in a similar pattern in zebra finch and human brain To develop a songbirds ASD model, we are determining Cntnap2 protein expression patterns over development. This will pinpoint the key stage and brain region in which to disrupt Cntnap2 expression using RNA interference techniques. Our major finding is that Cntnap2 protein is enhanced in a premotor song control region in young male and female birds. As development proceeds, enhancement persists relative to surrounding brain tissue in males but declines in females. This is significant because in this species, only males learn to sing. This pinpoints the developmental stage in which to interfere with Cntnap2 expression and determine the effects on male song learning and social interactions.
Keywords Brain
Mental disorders
Ribonucleic acids
Voice communications

Source Agency Non Paid ADAS
NTIS Subject Category 57A - Anatomy
57S - Physiology
57E - Clinical Medicine
Corporate Author California Univ., Los Angeles.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note Annual rept. 10 Sep 2011-0 Sep 2012.
NTIS Issue Number 1319
Contract Number W81XWH-10-1-0642

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