The primary aim of the present study was to investigate alterations in enzymes associated with fatty acid synthesis, namely fatty acid synthase (FASN) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), in the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum of the valproic acid (VPA)-induced animal model of autism. In this model, pregnant rats were given a single intraperitoneal injection of VPA, and prefrontal cortex and cerebellum samples from their pups were analyzed. The results of western blotting and reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses demonstrated that the protein and mRNA expression levels of FASN, ACC and phospho-ACC (pACC) were increased in the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum of the VPA model of autism. Furthermore, in the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum of the VPA model of autism, AMPK expression is increased, whereas PI3K and Akt expression are unchanged. This suggests that disorder of the phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/FASN and/or adenosine 5′-monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK)/ACC pathway may be involved in the pathogenesis of autism. It is hypothesized that fatty acid synthesis participates in autism through PI3K/Akt/FASN and AMPK/ACC pathways.