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Increased connectivity and long term potentiation in the prefrontal cortex of rats prenatally exposed to valproic acid

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84132

Perrodin,  C
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Research Group Physiology of Sensory Integration, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Rinaldi, T., Perrodin, C., & Markram, H. (2007). Increased connectivity and long term potentiation in the prefrontal cortex of rats prenatally exposed to valproic acid. Poster presented at 37th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2007), San Diego, CA, USA.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-CB31-E
Abstract
The prefrontal cortex plays crucial roles in higher-order functions related to cognition, language, sociability and emotion. As these functions are key symptoms in autism spectrum disorder, it is not surprising that the prefrontal cortex has been hypothesized to be altered in this neurobiological disorder. We studied putative cellular and microcircuit alterations in the prefrontal cortex of the valproic acid rat model of autism. We demonstrate that layer 5 pyramidal neurons of this cortical region are significantly less excitable in valproic acid treated rats. Furthermore, connections among this cell population are more abundant, but weaker. Finally, the connections onto these cells are more plastic, as shown with significantly enhanced long term potentiation in valproic acid treated rats as compared to controls. These results could have important implications at the behavioural level and explain some of the symptoms observed in children prenatally exposed to valproic acid related to frontal functions, like i mpaired sociability, language delays or abnormal cognition.