In a significant collaborative study, research teams from DGIST, Seoul National University, Korea University, and Konkuk University have identified key environmental factors and genetic mechanisms contributing to autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
The researchers employed multi-omics analysis on a mouse model treated with valproate, a drug previously linked to ASD.
They found an increase in the expression of the Rnf146 gene in the prefrontal lobe of the mice, which could be a contributing factor in the development of autism.
The study further revealed an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in the frontal lobe of the mouse model, a phenomenon often observed in other autistic models.
Implications for Autism Research
The study is expected to serve as a foundational stepping stone for understanding the mechanisms behind ASD. It can also pave the way for advancements in early detection and treatment methodologies for autism.
Moreover, the findings offer insights into the role of environmental factors, including certain types of drugs and possibly environmental pollution, in the development of ASD.
Future Research Directions
Treatment Targets: According to Professor Minsik Kim of DGIST, further studies will be carried out to identify the core network of ASD and discover potential treatment targets.
Environmental Factors: Professor Chanyeong Shin of Konkuk University emphasized that the results could form the basis for future research on the potential impact of environmental pollution on ASD.
Technological Applications: Professor Junyong Ahn of Korea University pointed out that multi-omics technology is likely to be increasingly employed to discover new molecular networks in brain development processes and to identify critical regulatory genes in various autism models.
Professor Yongsuk Lee of Seoul National University stated that this research significantly contributes to understanding the common causes of autism.
The study underscores the importance of interdisciplinary research in tackling complex neurodevelopmental disorders like ASD.
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The research findings can be found in Experimental & Molecular Medicine.
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