179 | Effects of gonadal hormones absence since weaning on social behavior in adult female mice

Disorders of the Nervous System

Author: Lucía María Di Guardia Casella | Email: lmdiguardiacasella@gmail.com

Lucía María Di Guardia Casella 1°2°, Araceli Seiffe , Amaicha M. Depino 1°3°

1° Instituto de Fisiología, Biología Molecular y Neurociencias (UBA-CONICET)
2° Departamento de Fisiología, Biología Molecular y Celular (FCEN, UBA)
3° Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental (FCEN, UBA)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by decreased sociability and increased repetitive behaviors, with a significant sex bias: over 80% of ASD diagnoses are in males. This implicates sex-related factors in ASD development. Previous experiments from our group demonstrated that male mice prenatally exposed to VPA at GD12.5 exhibit reduced sociability at weaning and in adulthood. In contrast, VPA-exposed females display reduced juvenile play at postnatal day (PD) 21, but sociability remains unaffected in adulthood.

To explore non-reproductive ASD-related behaviors influenced by gonadal hormones, we investigated adult female CF1 mice ovariectomized (OVX) or subjected to sham (SHAM) surgery at PD21. We then ran a battery of behavioral tests in adulthood, to evaluate ASD-relevant behaviors. Our analysis revealed comparable sociability levels between SHAM and OVX adult females. However, when we evaluated the habituation to a social stimulus, OVX mice exhibited increased sniffing of the stimulus in initial presentations, suggesting altered social novelty assessment. Our ongoing research aims to assess adult sociability in VPA-exposed females following ovariectomy at PD21, to evaluate the role of gonadal hormones on female resilience to VPA effects on sociability.