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Studies have shown that arginine-vasopressin (AVP) is an important neuropeptide regulating social behaviors. The present work aimed to detect changes in the AVP numbers and level in a valproic acid (VPA)-induced rat model of autism and the underlying mechanism of its pathogenesis. Our results indicated that infants exposed to VPA showed obviously impaired communication and repetitive behaviors with reduced number of AVP-ir cells in paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The postnatal subcutaneous injection of AVP can alleviate social preference deficits and stereotyped behaviors, accompanied with the increase of the AVP concentrations in the CSF. We concluded that AVP system was involved in etiology of VPA-induced autism-like symptoms and postnatal AVP treatment rescued the behavioral deficits,which could be a promising treatment for autism. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Jing Wu, Yu-Chuan Dai, Xing-Yu Lan, Hong-Feng Zhang, Shu-Zhen Bai, Ying Hu, Song-Ping Han, Ji-Sheng Han, Rong Zhang. Postnatal AVP treatments prevent social deficit in adolescence of valproic acid-induced rat autism model. Peptides. 2021 Mar;137:170493

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PMID: 33422647

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