Some Autism Spectrum Disorder Symptoms Linked to Astrocytes
[Source: Science Daily]
Abnormalities in a type of brain cell called astrocytes may play a pivotal role in causing some behavioral symptoms of autism spectrum disorders, according to a preclinical study by Weill Cornell Medicine investigators.
For the study, published April 1 in Molecular Psychiatry, senior author Dr. Dilek Colak, assistant professor of neuroscience at the Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medicine, and her colleagues grew astrocytes from the stem cells derived from patients with autism and transplanted them into healthy newborn mice. They found that after the transplant, the mice developed repetitive behaviors, a hallmark symptom of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), but they did not develop the social deficits associated with the disease. The mice also developed memory deficits, which are commonly seen in ASD but are not a core characteristic of the disease.