Volume 118 (2012) Issue 4 Pages 543-546
We have recently shown that prenatal valproic acid (VPA) exposure causes autism spectrum disorders–like behavioral abnormalities and Nissl-positive cell loss in both prefrontal and somatosensory cortices in male mice. We have also found that VPA-induced social interaction deficits are observed in male but not female offspring. This study demonstrated that the exposure to VPA at embryonic day 12.5 significantly decreased Nissl-positive cell numbers in the prefrontal cortex, but not in the somatosensory cortex, in female offspring. These findings suggest that VPA-induced morphological abnormalities in the somatosensory cortex may be involved in the sex-dependent social interaction deficits.