We tested the hypothesis that exposure of glut3+/- mice to a ketogenic diet ameliorates autism-like features, which include aberrant behavior and electrographic seizures. We first investigated the life course sex-specific changes in basal plasma-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-brain metabolic profile, brain glucose transport/uptake, glucose and monocarboxylate transporter proteins, and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the presence or absence of systemic insulin administration. Glut3+/- male but not femalemice (5months of age) displayed reduced CSF glucose/lactate concentrations with no change in brain Glut1, Mct2, glucose uptake or ATP. Exogenous insulin-induced hypoglycemia increased brain glucose uptake in glut3+/- males alone. Higher plasma-CSF ketones (β-hydroxybutyrate) and lower brain Glut3 in females vs males proved protective in the former while enhancing vulnerability in the latter. As a consequence, increased synaptic proteins (neuroligin4 and SAPAP1) with spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic activity subsequently reduced hippocampal glucose content and increased brain amyloid β1-40 deposition in an age-dependent manner in glut3+/- males but not females (4 to 24 months of age). We then explored the protective effect of a ketogenic diet on ultrasonic vocalization, sociability, spatial learning and memory, and electroencephalogram seizures in male mice (7 days to 6 to 8months of age) alone. A ketogenic diet partially restored sociability without affecting perturbed vocalization, spatial learningandmemory, andreducedseizure events.We concludethat (1) sexspecific and age-dependent perturbations underlie the phenotype of glut3+/- mice, and (2) a ketogenic diet ameliorates seizures caused by increased cortical excitation and improves sociability, but fails to rescue vocalization and cognitive deficits in glut3+/- male mice.
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