Professor Kim Min-sik's team in the Department of New Biology at DGIST conducted joint research with Professor Lee Yong-seok's team at Seoul National University, Professor Ahn Jun-yong's team at Korea University, and Professor Shin Chan-young's team at Konkuk University to identify environmental factors that affect the mechanism of occurrence of autism spectrum disorder.
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that occurs in early childhood. It is a disease that causes problems with social communication and interaction, limits behavior patterns, interests, and scope of activities, and exhibits repetitive behavioral characteristics.
It is a relatively common condition, with some studies showing that one in 50 to 60 young children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
It is known that the development of autism spectrum disorder is caused by not only genetic factors but also various environmental factors, such as severe infections or exposure to certain drugs during pregnancy.
Meanwhile, it is well known through previous research results by Professor Shin Chan-young's team at Konkuk University that the drug 'valproic acid', if used during pregnancy, can affect the brain development of the fetus and cause autism spectrum disorder.
However, research on molecular targets has not yet been conducted, making development of therapeutic drugs difficult.
Accordingly, Professor Minsik Kim's team conducted a multi-omics analysis with Professor Junyong Ahn's team at Korea University using the valproate-treated mouse model developed by Professor Chanyoung Shin's team at Konkuk University.
As a result, we observed an increase in the expression of the Rnf146 gene, which affects autism spectrum disorder, in the prefrontal cortex of autism model mice due to side effects of valproic acid medication.
In addition, in collaboration with Professor Lee Yong-seok's team at Seoul National University College of Medicine, we observed autistic behavior patterns using the Rnf146 expression model, and it was discovered that the balance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission was broken in the frontal lobe of this mouse model. Regarding this, Professor Lee Yong-seok of Seoul National University said, “This is a common phenomenon found in other autism models, and this study contributes to uncovering the common causes that cause autism.”
The results of this study are expected to provide a deeper understanding of the mechanisms related to autism spectrum disorder and further help develop early diagnosis and treatment methods for autism spectrum disorder.
Professor Minsik Kim of the Department of New Biology at DGIST said, “We will continue to carry out multi-omics analysis of various developmental disorder models and comprehensive research on model organisms through multi-institutional joint research to identify the core network of autism spectrum disorder and identify treatment targets.” “We want to excavate it,” he said.
The research results were published in ‘Experimental & Molecular Medicine’ on August 1, 2023.
Source: BBS NEWS (https://news.bbsi.co.kr)