Cross-species models of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder: lessons from CNTNAP2, ADGRL3, and PARK2

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Animal and cellular models are essential tools for all areas of biological research including neuroscience. Model systems can also be used to investigate the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In this review, we provide a summary of animal and cellular models for three genes linked to ADHD and ASD in human patients – CNTNAP2, ADGRL3, and PARK2. We also highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each model system. By bringing together behavioral and neurobiological data, we demonstrate how a cross-species approach can provide integrated insights into gene function and the pathogenesis of ADHD and ASD. The knowledge gained from transgenic models will be essential to discover and validate new treatment targets for these disorders.

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