Manoj Kumar1, Gaurav Verma1, Ranjit Ittyerah1, Stephen B. Pickup1, Edward S. Brodkin2, Ted Abel3, Harish Poptani1
1Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States; 2Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States; 3Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States
In-vivo spectroscopy was performed after 3 hours of sleep deprivation in the less social BALB/cJ and more social C57BL/6J mice. Significantly increased glutamate was noted in sleep deprived BALB/cJ as compared to control non-sleep deprived animals. The more social C57BL/6J mice did not exhibit this behavior. An abnormal increase in electrical activity resulting from excessive glutamate signaling causes prolonged alterations in behavior, as commonly seen in autism. Abnormalities in glutamatergic neurotransmitter system may partially underpin the pathophysiology of autistic spectrum disorders and hence glutamate and its regulatory molecules are considered as potential targets for these disorders.Non-invasive MRS methods may be useful in assessing these metabolic alterations.