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Effects of single-dose antipurinergic therapy on behavioral and molecular alterations in the valproic acid-induced animal model of autism

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Mauro Mozael Hirsch
  • Iohanna Deckmann
  • Júlio Santos-Terra
  • Gabriela Zanotto Staevie
  • Mellanie Fontes-Dutra
  • Giovanna Carello-Collar
  • Marília Körbes-Rockenbach
  • Gustavo Brum Schwingel
  • Guilherme Bauer-Negrini
  • Bruna Rabelo
  • Maria Carolina Bittencourt Gonçalves
  • Juliana Corrêa-Velloso
  • Yahaira Naaldijk
  • Ana Regina Geciauskas Castillo
  • Tomasz Schneider
  • Victorio Bambini-Junior
  • Henning Ulrich
  • Carmem Gottfried
Article number107930
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/05/2020
Number of pages11
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date14/02/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by deficits in communication and social interaction, restricted interests, and stereotyped behavior. Environmental factors, such as prenatal exposure to valproic acid (VPA), may contribute to the increased risk of ASD. Since disturbed functioning of the purinergic signaling system has been associated with the onset of ASD and used as a potential therapeutic target for ASD in both clinical and preclinical studies, we analyzed the effects of suramin, a non-selective purinergic antagonist, on behavioral, molecular and immunological in an animal model of autism induced by prenatal exposure to VPA. Treatment with suramin (20 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) restored sociability in the three-chamber apparatus and decreased anxiety measured by elevated plus maze apparatus, but had no impact on decreased reciprocal social interactions or higher nociceptive threshold in VPA rats. Suramin treatment did not affect VPA-induced upregulation of P2X4 and P2Y2 receptor expression in the hippocampus, and P2X4 receptor expression in the medial prefrontal cortex, but normalized an increased level of interleukin 6 (IL-6). Our results suggest an important role of purinergic signaling modulation in behavioral, molecular, and immunological aberrations described in VPA model, and indicate that the purinergic signaling system might be a potential target for pharmacotherapy in preclinical studies of ASD.

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