Document Detail

Intracerebroventricular injection of propionic acid, an enteric bacterial metabolic end-product, impairs social behavior in the rat: implications for an animal model of autism.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18395759     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Environmental, dietary, and gastrointestinal factors may contribute to autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Propionic acid (PPA) is a short chain fatty acid, a metabolic end-product of enteric bacteria in the gut, and a common food preservative. Recent evidence indicates that PPA can cause behavioral abnormalities and a neuroinflammatory response in rats. Social behavior was examined in similarly-treated pairs of adult male Long-Evans rats placed in an open field following intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of PPA (4 microl of 0.26 M solution) or control compounds. Behavior was analyzed using both the EthoVision behavior tracking system and by blind scoring of videotapes of social behaviors. Compared to controls, rats treated with PPA displayed social behavior impairments as indicated by significantly greater mean distance apart, reduced time spent in close proximity, reduced playful interaction, and altered responses to playful initiations. Treatment with another short chain fatty acid, sodium acetate, produced similar impairments, but treatment with the alcohol analog of PPA, 1-propanol, did not produce impairments. Immunohistochemical analysis of brain tissue taken from rats treated with PPA revealed reactive astrogliosis, indicating a neuroinflammatory response. These findings suggest that PPA can change both brain and behavior in the laboratory rat in a manner that is consistent with symptoms of human ASD.
Sandy R Shultz; Derrick F MacFabe; Klaus-Peter Ossenkopp; Shannon Scratch; Jennifer Whelan; Roy Taylor; Donald P Cain
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-02-13
Journal Detail:
Title:  Neuropharmacology     Volume:  54     ISSN:  0028-3908     ISO Abbreviation:  Neuropharmacology     Publication Date:  2008 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-04-21     Completed Date:  2008-07-22     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0236217     Medline TA:  Neuropharmacology     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  901-11     Citation Subset:  IM    
The Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group, Department of Psychology and Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
1-Propanol / pharmacology
Acetic Acid / pharmacology
Aggression / drug effects
Autistic Disorder / chemically induced*,  psychology*
Brain / pathology
Disease Models, Animal
Enterobacteriaceae / metabolism*
Injections, Intraventricular
Motor Activity / physiology
Play and Playthings / psychology
Propionic Acids / administration & dosage,  pharmacology*
Rats, Long-Evans
Social Behavior*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Propionic Acids; 64-19-7/Acetic Acid; 71-23-8/1-Propanol; 79-09-4/propionic acid

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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