Modeling autism in non-human primates: Opportunities and challenges.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social communication deficits and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior. For more than a decade, genetically-modified, risk factor-induced, as well as naturally occurring rodent models for ASD have been used as the most predominant tools to dissect the molecular and circuitry mechanisms underlying ASD. However, the apparent evolutionary differences in terms of social behavior and brain anatomy between rodents and humans have become an issue of debate regarding the translational value of rodent models for studying ASD. More recently, genome manipulation of non human primates using lentivirus-based gene expression, TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9 mediated gene editing techniques, has been reported. Genetically modified non-human primate models for ASD have been produced and characterized. While the feasibility, value, and exciting opportunities provided by the non-human primate models have been clearly demonstrated, many challenges still remain. Here, we review current progress, discuss the remaining challenges, and highlight the key issues in the development of non-human primate models for ASD research and drug development. Autism Res 2018, 11: 686-694. © 2018 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. LAY SUMMARY: Over the last two decades, genetically modified rat and mouse models have been used as the most predominant tools to study mechanisms underlying autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the apparent evolutionary differences between rodents and humans limit the translational value of rodent models for studying ASD. Recently, several non-human primate models for ASD have been established and characterized. Here, we review current progress, discuss the challenges, and highlight the key issues in the development of non-human primate models for ASD research and drug development.
Zhao, H; Jiang, Y-H; Zhang, YQ
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