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Multiple autism-like behaviors in a novel transgenic mouse model.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses are behaviorally based with no defined universal biomarkers, occur at a 1:110 ratio in the population, and predominantly affect males compared to females at approximately a 4:1 ratio. One approach to investigate and identify causes of ASD is to use organisms that display abnormal behavioral responses that model ASD-related impairments. This study describes a novel transgenic mouse, MALTT, which was generated using a forward genetics approach. It was determined that the transgene integrated within a non-coding region on the X chromosome. The MALTT line exhibited a complete repertoire of ASD-like behavioral deficits in all three domains required for an ASD diagnosis: reciprocal social interaction, communication, and repetitive or inflexible behaviors. Specifically, MALTT male mice showed deficits in social interaction and interest, abnormalities in pup and juvenile ultrasonic vocalization communications, and exhibited a repetitive stereotypy. Abnormalities were also observed in the domain of sensory function, a secondary phenotype prevalently associated with ASD. Mapping and expression studies suggested that the Fam46 gene family may be linked to the observed ASD-related behaviors. The MALTT line provides a unique genetic model for examining the underlying biological mechanisms involved in ASD-related behaviors.

Pubmed ID: 21093492


  • Hamilton SM
  • Spencer CM
  • Harrison WR
  • Yuva-Paylor LA
  • Graham DF
  • Daza RA
  • Hevner RF
  • Overbeek PA
  • Paylor R


Behavioural brain research

Publication Data

March 17, 2011

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: P30 HD024064
  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: P30 HD024064-23

Mesh Terms

  • Aggression
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Autistic Disorder
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Sensory Gating
  • Social Behavior
  • Stereotyped Behavior
  • Vocalization, Animal