Chargée de recherche
Institut de Pharmacologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, CNRS UMR7275
Université Côte d’Azur, Valbonne
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a frequent neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairment in social interactions, communication deficits, as well as by repetitive behaviours and restricted interests. ASD is also frequently accompanied with gastro-intestinal (GI) tract dysfunctions, including microbiota dysbiosis and altered patterns of microbiota-derived metabolites. Recent studies demonstrate the existence of a gut-brain axis through which the intestinal microbiota is able to impact behaviour. A growing body of evidence suggests that disruption of the gut-brain axis could contribute to ASD pathological process.
In this context, I will discuss our recent data regarding the involvement of p-Cresol, a bacterial metabolite upregulated in ASD patients, in the development of ASD-related GI and behavioural anomalies in mice. In addition, I will present a clinical study lead on a large cohort of high-functioning ASD patients in which we investigated the association between GI symptoms and ASD core symptoms, as well as psychiatric and somatic comorbidities.