Characterization of the Pathological and Biochemical Markers that Correlate to the Clinical Features of Autism
Annual rept. 22 Sep 2010-21 Sep 2011
RESEARCH FOUNDATION FOR MENTAL HYGIENE INC STATEN ISLAND NY
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Brain tissue is highly heterogeneous with different functions localized in specific areas. Free radicals are generated endogenously by the mitochondria in the cell. Mitochondrial electron transport chain ETC with the help of five ETC complexes is involved in the generation of free radicals and ATP energy. We compared the levels of mitochondrial ETC complexes in frozen brain samples from the cerebellum and frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital cortices of autistic and age-matched normal subjects. In autism, a significant deficit in mitochondrial ETC complexes was observed in frontal cortex, temporal cortex, and cerebellum. In contrast, no significant change in ETC complexes was observed in other brain regions between autism and control groups. These results suggest mitochondrial dysfunction in autism, which will lead to oxidative stress and abnormal brain energy metabolism in autism. Autism spectrum disorders ASDs are complex neurodevelopmental disorders. The complexity of ASDs is further increased because some affected individuals fall in the subgroup of regressive autism. We report here that individuals with regressive autism have decreased activity and expression of protein kinase A PKA in the frontal cortex of the brain. Such changes were not observed in individuals with non-regressive autism. PKA is a cyclic AMP dependent protein kinase that is involved in cognitive functions and memory formation. These results suggest that abnormal cellular signaling in the frontal lobe of the brain may be associated with regression in autism.
- Medicine and Medical Research