Speaker Biography

Amer Kamal Al Ansari

Arabian Gulf University, Bahrain

Title: The Therapeutic Effects of Oxytocin on the autistic behavior induced by Valproic acid injection of pregnant BALBc mice mothers



Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental syndrome that is marked by significant deficits in verbal and non-verbal social interactions, and by a peculiar pattern of restricted repetitive behaviors. Oxytocin is known for its involvement in mammalian social behavior and probably it might improve the symptoms of ASD. This research investigated the effects of intraperitoneal oxytocin on offspring of valproate-injected mothers during pregnancy. Animals were divided into five groups: control group (Con), control mice treated acutely with oxytocin (Con Oxy), autistic mice received normal saline (Au NS), autistic mice treated acutely with oxytocin (Oxy Ac), and autistic mice treated with oxytocin for two weeks (Oxy 2wk). In an elevated plus maze test, Con animals showed no anxiety-like behavior while Au NS mice showed anxiety-like behaviors. However, there was a positive improvement in anxiety-like behavior in Oxy 2wk group. Animals that were treated with oxytocin showed a clear tendency for  sociability and  social  novelty  in the three-chamber  test  used  to  test  social  behavior. There was an increase in the parameters measured by the behavioral spectrometry, the average velocity, activity and ambulation in Au NS group. On the other hand, all parameters were decreased in both Au Oxy groups with significant changes in Oxy 2wk group. Our data conclude that oxytocin causes significant reduction in anxiety and improvement of social interaction and autistic behavior when it was administered for two consecutive weeks. In the contrast, short term exposure to Oxytocin probably showed no significance difference in the results, which is suggested to be attributed to the stress effect of the intraperitoneal injection as well as the possibility for needing more time for oxytocin effect to be more prominent before testing