Department of Economics and Business Economics

Developmental Vitamin D Deficiency Produces Behavioral Phenotypes of Relevance to Autism in an Animal Model

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  • Asad Ali, The University of Queensland, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research
  • ,
  • Svetlina Vasileva, The University of Queensland
  • ,
  • Mia Langguth, University of Sydney
  • ,
  • Suzanne Alexander, The University of Queensland, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research
  • ,
  • Xiaoying Cui, The University of Queensland
  • ,
  • Andrew Whitehouse, University of Western Australia
  • ,
  • John J McGrath
  • Darryl Eyles, The University of Queensland, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research

Emerging evidence suggests that gestational or developmental vitamin D (DVD) deficiency is associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social interaction, lack of verbal and non-verbal communications, stereotyped repetitive behaviors and hyper-activities. There are several other clinical features that are commonly comorbid with ASD, including olfactory impairments, anxiety and delays in motor development. Here we investigate these features in an animal model related to ASD-the DVD-deficient rat. Compared to controls, both DVD-deficient male and female pups show altered ultrasonic vocalizations and stereotyped repetitive behavior. Further, the DVD-deficient animals had delayed motor development and impaired motor control. Adolescent DVD-deficient animals had impaired reciprocal social interaction, while as adults, these animals were hyperactive. The DVD-deficient model is associated with a range of behavioral features of interest to ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1187
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

    Research areas

  • Animal model, Autism spectrum disorder, Behavior, Brain development, Ultrasonic vocalizations, Vitamin D, brain development, RAT, SPECTRUM DISORDERS, VALPROIC ACID, ALTERS ADULT BEHAVIOR, MOUSE MODELS, SOCIAL PLAY-BEHAVIOR, VESTIBULAR DYSFUNCTION, D DVD DEFICIENCY, PUP ULTRASONIC VOCALIZATIONS, MOTOR COORDINATION, animal model, autism spectrum disorder, behavior, ultrasonic vocalizations

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