Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder appearing in early childhood, characterized by three core symptoms: restricted, repetitive behaviors (RRBs), deficits in social interaction, and a shortfall in communication. The mechanism underlying the manifestation of ASD is unknown but is likely caused by interactions between genes and the environment. The serotonin (5-HT) system has been implicated as a potential mechanism explaining autistic behaviors, as elective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have historically been used off-label to help treat symptoms of autism but can have many adverse side effects. By using a novel therapeutic specifically targeting the 5-HT6 receptor, there is potential to limit these reactions and makes it easier to study behavior, as the receptor is confined to the central nervous system (CNS). It is possible to then determine whether a specific serotonin receptor, 5- HT6, is responsible for any ASD symptoms. In this study, we aim to determine whether targeting the 5-HT6 receptor with a novel therapeutic, BGC 20-761, will help reduce repetitive and social behaviors seen in the C58/J inbred mouse strain modeling autistic-like behaviors. Intraperitoneal injections of the drug or vehicle were administered to C57BL/6J and C58/J mice. Repetitive and social assays were conducted following administration of the antagonist or vehicle control. There was no conclusive evidence for an effect on repetitive behaviors in the C58/J mice, but there was a significant increase in sociability in the C58 mice given the antagonist compared to the vehicle administration.
bykowski, a. (2018). Novel Serotonin 6 Receptor Antagonist And Its Effects On Autistic-Like Behaviors In The C58/J Mouse Strain (Undergraduate honors thesis, University of Redlands). Retrieved from https://inspire.redlands.edu/cas_honors/179