Emerging mechanisms of valproic acid-induced neurotoxic events in autism and its implications for pharmacological treatment

Abdoh Taleb, Wen Lin, Xiang Xu, Gang Zhang, Qi Gang Zhou, Muhammad Naveed, Fan Meng, Kohji Fukunaga, Feng Han

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a sort of mental disorder marked by deficits in cognitive and communication abilities. To date no effective cure for this pernicious disease has been available. Valproic acid (VPA) is a broad-spectrum, antiepileptic drug, and it is also a potent teratogen. Epidemiological studies have shown that children exposed to VPA are at higher risk for ASD during the first trimester of their gestational development. Several animal and human studies have demonstrated important behavioral impairments and morphological changes in the brain following VPA treatment. However, the mechanism of VPA exposure-induced ASD remains unclear. Several factors are involved in the pathological phase of ASD, including aberrant excitation/inhibition of synaptic transmission, neuroinflammation, diminished neurogenesis, oxidative stress, etc. In this review, we aim to outline the current knowledge of the critical pathophysiological mechanisms underlying VPA exposure-induced ASD. This review will give insight toward understanding the complex nature of VPA-induced neuronal toxicity and exploring a new path toward the development of novel pharmacological treatment against ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111322
JournalBiomedicine and Pharmacotherapy
Volume137
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Pharmacological therapy
  • Synaptic transmission
  • Valproic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Emerging mechanisms of valproic acid-induced neurotoxic events in autism and its implications for pharmacological treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this