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Abstract #0223

V1a antagonism normalizes a social brain network in valproate rat model of autism revealed by functional MRI

Thomas Mueggler 1 , Dany D D'Souza 1 , Barbara Biemans 1 , Andreas Bruns 1 , Basil Knnecke 1 , Patrick Schnider 2 , Christophe Grundschober 1 , and Markus von Kienlin 1

1 Pharma Research & Early Development, DTA Neuroscience, Hoffmann-La Roche, Basel, Basel-City, Switzerland, 2 Pharma Research & Early Development, Small Molecule Research, Hoffmann-La Roche, Basel, Basel-City, Switzerland

The neuropeptide vasopressin is thought to play an important role in regulating social behavior. Here we investigated its role in the rat valproate (VPA) model of autism which has phenotypical changes similar to the human condition. In VPA rats we identified altered perfusion as a surrogate of disturbed neural activity in brain regions implicated in social behavior. Chronic treatment with a vasopressin V 1a receptor-specific antagonist, reversed perfusion deficits in key regions such as the striatum, ventral tegmental area and superior colliculus suggesting that V 1a antagonists have the potential to improve core symptoms of autism such as social interaction.

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