Shank3-deficient rats exhibit degraded cortical responses to sound

Crystal T. Engineer, Kimiya C. Rahebi, Michael S. Borland, Elizabeth P. Buell, Kwok W. Im, Linda G. Wilson, Pryanka Sharma, Sven Vanneste, Hala Harony-Nicolas, Joseph D. Buxbaum, Michael P. Kilgard

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16 Scopus citations


Individuals with SHANK3 mutations have severely impaired receptive and expressive language abilities. While brain responses are known to be abnormal in these individuals, the auditory cortex response to sound has remained largely understudied. In this study, we document the auditory cortex response to speech and non-speech sounds in the novel Shank3-deficient rat model. We predicted that the auditory cortex response to sounds would be impaired in Shank3-deficient rats. We found that auditory cortex responses were weaker in Shank3 heterozygous rats compared to wild-type rats. Additionally, Shank3 heterozygous responses had less spontaneous auditory cortex firing and were unable to respond well to rapid trains of noise bursts. The rat model of the auditory impairments in SHANK3 mutation could be used to test potential rehabilitation or drug therapies to improve the communication impairments observed in individuals with Phelan-McDermid syndrome. Autism Res 2018, 11: 59–68.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-68
Number of pages10
JournalAutism Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • 22q13 deletion
  • Phelan-McDermid syndrome
  • SHANK3-haploinsufficiency syndromes
  • autism


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