Date: Friday, September 27, 2019
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Location: Simons Center Conference Room, Building 46, Room 6011, 6th Floor, MIT (43 Vassar Street, Cambridge, 02139 MA)
Speaker: Sasha Krol, Ph.D.
Affiliation: Simons Fellow, Guoping Feng Laboratory, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT.
Talk title: “Uncovering the origins of autism risk gene Ptchd1-associated aggression”
Abstract: Irritability or aggressive conduct affects 25-50% of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Despite being highly disruptive, aggression in the context of ASD is poorly understood due to a lack of good models. Deletions in PTCHD1 contribute to ~1% of ASD cases with intellectual disability and can lead to hyper-aggression. I will present our work seeking to understand the origin of hyper-aggression in a mouse model of Ptchd1 deletion. We are testing whether dysfunction of hypothalamic circuitry, and in particular the VMHvl is responsible for Ptchd1-mediated, ASD-related aggression. We find that specifically inhibitory circuitry and not excitatory contributes to hyper-aggression. In addition we will present preliminary findings on the cellular function of Ptchd1.