Oxotremorine treatment reduces repetitive behaviors in BTBR T+ tf/J mice
Amodeo, Dionisio A.
Sweeney, John A.
Ragozzino, Michael E.
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Repetitive behaviors with restricted interests is one of the core criteria for the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Current pharmacotherapies that target the dopaminergic or serotonergic systems have limited effectiveness in treating repetitive behaviors. Previous research has demonstrated that administration of muscarinic cholinergic receptor (mAChR) antagonists can exacerbate motor stereotypies while mAChR agonists reduce stereotypies. The present study determined whether the mAChR agonist, oxotremorine affected repetitive behaviors in the BTBR T+ tf/J (BTBR) mouse model of autism. To test the effects of oxotremorine on repetitive behaviors, marble burying and grooming behavior were measured in BTBR mice and compared to that in C57BL/6J (B6) mice. The effects of oxotremorine on locomotor activity was also measured. Thirty minutes before each test, mice received an intraperitoneal injection of saline, 0.001mg or 0.01mg of oxotremorine methiodide. Saline treated BTBR mice exhibited increased marble burying and self-grooming behavior compared to that of saline-treated B6 mice. Oxotremorine significantly reduced marble burying and self48 grooming behavior in BTBR mice, but had no significant effect in B6 mice. In addition, oxotremorine did not affect locomotor activity in BTBR mice, but significantly reduced locomotor activity in B6 mice at the 0.01mg dose. These findings demonstrate that activation of mAChRs reduces repetitive behavior in the BTBR mouse and suggest that treatment with a mAChR agonist may be effective in reducing repetitive behaviors in ASD.