CIM6P/IGF-2 Receptor Ligands Reverse Deficits in Angelman Syndrome Model Mice

Emmanuel Cruz, Giannina Descalzi, Adam Steinmetz, Helen E. Scharfman, Aaron Katzman, Cristina M. Alberini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Angelman syndrome (AS), a genetic disorder that primarily affects the nervous system, is characterized by delayed development, intellectual disability, severe speech impairment, and problems with movement and balance (ataxia). Most affected children also have recurrent seizures (epilepsy). No existing therapies are capable of comprehensively treating the deficits in AS; hence, there is an urgent need to identify new treatments. Here we show that insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF-2) and mannose-6-phosphate (M6P), ligands of two independent binding sites of the cation-independent M6P/IGF-2 receptor (CIM6P/IGF-2R), reverse most major deficits of AS modeled in mice. Subcutaneous injection of IGF-2 or M6P in mice modeling AS restored cognitive impairments as assessed by measurements of contextual and recognition memories, motor deficits assessed by rotarod and hindlimb clasping, and working memory/flexibility measured by Y-maze. IGF-2 also corrected deficits in marble burying and significantly attenuated acoustically induced seizures. An observational battery of tests confirmed that neither ligand changed basic functions including physical characteristics, general behavioral responses, and sensory reflexes, indicating that they are relatively safe. Our data provide strong preclinical evidence that targeting CIM6P/IGF-2R is a promising approach for developing novel therapeutics for AS. Lay Summary: There is no effective treatment for the neurodevelopmental disorder Angelman syndrome (AS). Using a validated AS mouse model, the Ube3am−/p+, in this study we show that systemic administration of ligands of the cation independent mannose-6-phosphate receptor, also known as insulin-like growth factor 2 receptor (CIM6P/IGF-2R) reverses cognitive impairment, motor deficits, as well as seizures associated with AS. Thus, ligands that activate the CIM6P/IGF-2R may represent novel, potential therapeutic targets for AS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-45
Number of pages17
JournalAutism Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Angelman syndrome
  • Ube3a
  • audiogenic seizure
  • cation-independent mannose-6-phosphate receptor
  • insulin-like growth factor 2
  • insulin-like growth factor 2 receptor
  • mannose-6-phosphate
  • memory
  • motor response
  • mouse model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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