Excitation/Inhibition Imbalance in Animal Models of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Biol Psychiatry. 2017 May 15;81(10):838-847. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2016.05.011. Epub 2016 May 20.


Imbalances between excitation and inhibition in synaptic transmission and neural circuits have been implicated in autism spectrum disorders. Excitation and inhibition imbalances are frequently observed in animal models of autism spectrum disorders, and their correction normalizes key autistic-like phenotypes in these animals. These results suggest that excitation and inhibition imbalances may contribute to the development and maintenance of autism spectrum disorders and represent an important therapeutic target.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorders; Circuit; Excitation/inhibition balance; Mouse models; Psychiatric disorders; Synapse.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / pathology*
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*