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Inbred mouse strains differ greatly in social behaviors, making them a valuable resource to study genetic and non-genetic mechanisms underlying social deficits relevant to autism spectrum disorders. A hallmark symptom of autism is a lack of ability to understand other people's thoughts and intentions, which leads to impairments in adjusting behaviors in(More)
High-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity is reaching worldwide proportions. In addition to causing obesity, HFDs also induce a variety of health disorders, which includes cognitive decline. Hippocampal function may be particularly vulnerable to the negative consequences of HFD, and it is suspected that 'primed' neuroinflammatory processes may mediate this(More)
Behavioral therapies are currently the most effective interventions for treating the diagnostic symptoms of autism. We employed a mouse model of autism to evaluate components of behavioral interventions that improve sociability in mice. BTBR T+tf/J (BTBR) is an inbred mouse strain that exhibits prominent behavioral phenotypes with face validity to all three(More)
BACKGROUND Autism and Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (AgCC) are interrelated behavioral and anatomic phenotypes whose genetic etiologies are incompletely understood. We used the BTBR T⁺ tf/J (BTBR) strain, exhibiting fully penetrant AgCC, a diminished hippocampal commissure, and abnormal behaviors that may have face validity to autism, to study the genetic(More)
Chronic stress as well as chronic treatment with glucocorticoids (GCs) primes the neuroinflammatory response to a subsequent pro-inflammatory challenge. However, it remains unclear whether chronic GCs sensitize the response of key CNS immune substrates (i.e. microglia) to pro-inflammatory stimuli. In the present set of studies, male Sprague-Dawley rats(More)
Exposure to acute and chronic stressors sensitizes the proinflammatory response of microglia to a subsequent immune challenge. However, the proximal signal by which stressors prime microglia remains unclear. Here, high mobility group box-1 (HMGB-1) protein was explored as a potential mediator of stress-induced microglial priming and whether HMGB-1 does so(More)
The rich repertoire of mouse social behaviors makes it possible to use mouse models to study neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by social deficits. The fact that mice are naturally nocturnal animals raises a critical question of whether behavioral experiments should be strictly conducted in the dark phase and whether light phase testing is a major(More)
Circadian rhythms are endogenous cycles of physiology and behavior that align with the daily rotation of the planet and resulting light-dark cycle. The circadian system ensures homeostatic balance and regulates many aspects of physiology, including the stress response and susceptibility to and/or severity of stress-related sequelae. Both acute and chronic(More)
High mobility group box-1 (HMGB1) is an endogenous danger signal or alarmin that mediates activation of the innate immune response including chemotaxis and pro-inflammatory cytokine release. HMGB1 has been implicated in the pathophysiology of several neuroinflammatory conditions including ischemia, traumatic brain injury, seizure and chronic ethanol use. In(More)
Acute and chronic stressors sensitize or prime the neuroinflammatory response to a subsequent peripheral or central immunologic challenge. However, the neuroimmune process(es) by which stressors prime or sensitize subsequent neuroinflammatory responses remains unclear. Prior evidence suggested that toll-like receptors (TLRs) might be involved in the(More)