Social experience changes myelination in the prefrontal cortex: an animal study of psychosocial intervention for autism spectrum disorder

Poster C8, Wednesday, October 10, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Manabu Makinodan1, Kosuke Okazaki1, Tsubasa Morimoto1, Naoko Kishimoto1, Junya Ueda1, Yasuhiro Matsuda1, Toshifumi Kishimoto1; 1Department of Psychiatry, Nara Medical University

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, poor communication skills, and repetitive/restrictive behaviors. Recent studies have suggested that early intervention can alleviate the symptoms of individuals with ASD. However, it remains unclear whether early rehabilitative intervention can restore brain structures such as myelin. Therefore, we employed a mouse model of ASD (BTBR mice) that show asocial behaviors and hypomyelination in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) to investigate whether interaction with social peers (C57BL/6J mice) affects myelination. The housing with C57BL/6J mice after weaning through adulthood thickened myelin in the mPFC, but not in the motor cortex, of BTBR mice. The axonal diameter was not altered by cross-rearing with C57BL/6J mice in either the mPFC or the motor cortex. These results suggest that early rehabilitative intervention may alleviate myelin dysfunction in the mPFC as well as clinical symptoms in individuals with ASD.

Topic Area: Psychosocial Interventions

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