Data_Sheet_1_Gastrodin Rescues Autistic-Like Phenotypes in Valproic Acid-Induced Animal Model.doc
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is an immensely challenging developmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, restricted/repetitive behavior, and anxiety. GABAergic dysfunction has been postulated to underlie these autistic symptoms. Gastrodin is widely used clinically in the treatment of neurological disorders and showed to modulate GABAergic signaling in the animal brain. The present study aimed to determine whether treatment with gastrodin can rescue valproic acid (VPA) induced autistic-like phenotypes, and to determine its possible mechanism of action. Our results showed that administration of gastrodin effectively alleviated the autistic-associated behavioral abnormalities as reflected by an increase in social interaction and decrement in repetitive/stereotyped behavior and anxiety in mice as compared to those in untreated animals. Remarkably, the amelioration in autistic-like phenotypes was accompanied by the restoration of inhibitory synaptic transmission, α5 GABAA receptor, and type 1 GABA transporter (GAT1) expression in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) of VPA-treated mice. These findings indicate that gastrodin may alleviate the autistic symptoms caused by VPA through regulating GABAergic synaptic transmission, suggesting that gastrodin may be a potential therapeutic target in autism.