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Open AccessArticle

Abnormal Social Interactions in a Drosophila Mutant of an Autism Candidate Gene: Neuroligin 3

1
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Western University, London, ON N6A 5B7, Canada
2
Animal Behaviour Group, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour (PNB) McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1, Canada
3
Office of Research Integrity, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Rockville, MD 20889, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(13), 4601; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21134601
Received: 18 May 2020 / Revised: 25 June 2020 / Accepted: 26 June 2020 / Published: 29 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Drosophila in Human Disease Research)
Social interactions are typically impaired in neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism, for which the genetic underpinnings are very complex. Social interactions can be modeled by analysis of behaviors, including social spacing, sociability, and aggression, in simpler organisms such as Drosophila melanogaster. Here, we examined the effects of mutants of the autism-related gene neuroligin 3 (nlg3) on fly social and non-social behaviors. Startled-induced negative geotaxis is affected by a loss of function nlg3 mutation. Social space and aggression are also altered in a sex- and social-experience-specific manner in nlg3 mutant flies. In light of the conserved roles that neuroligins play in social behavior, our results offer insight into the regulation of social behavior in other organisms, including humans. View Full-Text
Keywords: neuroligin; sex; social behavior; social space; sociability; aggression; climbing; Drosophila Stress Odorant (dSO) avoidance neuroligin; sex; social behavior; social space; sociability; aggression; climbing; Drosophila Stress Odorant (dSO) avoidance
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yost, R.T.; Robinson, J.W.; Baxter, C.M.; Scott, A.M.; Brown, L.P.; Aletta, M.S.; Hakimjavadi, R.; Lone, A.; Cumming, R.C.; Dukas, R.; Mozer, B.; Simon, A.F. Abnormal Social Interactions in a Drosophila Mutant of an Autism Candidate Gene: Neuroligin 3. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 4601.

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