The autism spectrum disorders are characterized by deficits in social behavior, language, cognition, and the presence of stereotyped and repeated behaviors and interests. Symptoms appear early in childhood and are usually diagnosed by the age of three. The autism spectrum disorders comprise a number of developmental disorders, including Asperger’s syndrome and Rett syndrome. Related developmental disorders include Fragile X syndrome and Timothy syndrome.
The underlying cause of autism spectrum disorders remains unknown, however recent studies have suggested a genetic basis. Mutations in the genes neurexin 1 (Nrxn1), neuroligin 3 (Nlgn3), and phosphatase and tensin homolog (Pten) have all been linked to autism. Mutations in methyl-CpG-binding protein (MECP2) result in Rett syndrome. An expansion of CGG trinucleotide repeat in Fragile X mental retardation1 (Fmr1) has been implicated in Fragile X syndrome.
To further the understanding of the autism spectrum disorders, Horizon has created a range of autism animal models, the first targeted knockout rats for the genes Nlgn3, Fmr1, Nrxn1, Pten, mGluR5, MeCP2, Cntnap2 and MET.
Animal models of Autism Spectrum Disorders:
Download our brochure for a full list of available research animal models.