SHANK3 (ProSAP2) is among the most common genes mutated in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and is the causative gene in Phelan–McDermid syndrome (PMS). We performed genetic rescue of Shank3 mutant phenotypes in adult mice expressing a Shank3 exon 21 insertion mutation (Shank3G). We used a tamoxifen-inducible Cre/loxP system (CreTam) to revert Shank3G to wild-type (WT) Shank3/. We found that tamoxifen treatment in adult Shank3GCreTam mice resulted in complete rescue of SHANK3 protein expression in the brain and appeared to rescue synaptic transmission and some behavioral differences compared to Shank3/CreTam controls. However, follow-up comparisons between vehicle-treated, WT Cre-negative mice (Shank3/CreTam and Shank3/CreTam) demonstrated clear effects of CreTam on baseline synaptic transmission and some behaviors, making apparently positive genetic reversal effects difficult to interpret. Thus, while the CreTam tamoxifeninducible system is a powerful tool that successfully rescues Shank3 expression in our Shank3G/G reversible mutants, one must exercise caution and use appropriate control comparisons to ensure sound interpretation.
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