Caecal dysfunction and neuro-immune alterations in a preclinical model of autism
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD; autism) is commonly presented with gastrointestinal (GI) illness in addition to core diagnostic behavioural traits. Important for GI homeostasis is the appendix, or the caecum in mice, which functions as a key site for fermentation and a microbial reservoir. Even so, the role of the appendix and caecum in autism-associated GI symptoms remains uninvestigated. Here, we studied mice with an autism-associated missense mutation in the post-synaptic protein neuroligin-3 (NL3R451C), which impacts brain and enteric neuronal activity.
We previously reported abnormal caecal enteric nervous system (ENS) architecture and immune cell dysmorphologies in caecal patch tissues of NL3R451C mice. Building on our findings, we assessed caecal motility using tri-cannulation video-imaging approach in ex vivo preparations. Using the Ussing chamber set-up, we investigated caecal permeability and neurally-evoked secretion. Key immune populations including gut macrophages and dendritic cells were visualised to examine shifts in immune activity. Here, we provide the raw data involved in this study.