Evidence against the "normalization" prediction of the early brain overgrowth hypothesis of autism.

反对自闭症早期大脑过度生长假说 “正常化” 预测的证据。

  • 影响因子:5.99
  • DOI:10.1186/s13229-020-00353-2
  • 作者列表:"Yankowitz LD","Herrington JD","Yerys BE","Pereira JA","Pandey J","Schultz RT
  • 发表时间:2020-06-18

BACKGROUND:The frequently cited Early Overgrowth Hypothesis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) postulates that there is overgrowth of the brain in the first 2 years of life, which is followed by a period of arrested growth leading to normalized brain volume in late childhood and beyond. While there is consistent evidence for early brain overgrowth, there is mixed evidence for normalization of brain volume by middle childhood. The outcome of this debate is important to understanding the etiology and neurodevelopmental trajectories of ASD. METHODS:Brain volume was examined in two very large single-site samples of children, adolescents, and adults. The primary sample comprised 456 6-25-year-olds (ASD n = 240, typically developing controls (TDC) n = 216), including a large number of females (n = 102) and spanning a wide IQ range (47-158). The replication sample included 175 males. High-resolution T1-weighted anatomical MRI images were examined for group differences in total brain, cerebellar, ventricular, gray, and white matter volumes. RESULTS:The ASD group had significantly larger total brain, cerebellar, gray matter, white matter, and lateral ventricular volumes in both samples, indicating that brain volume remains enlarged through young adulthood, rather than normalizing. There were no significant age or sex interactions with diagnosis in these measures. However, a significant diagnosis-by-IQ interaction was detected in the larger sample, such that increased brain volume was related to higher IQ in the TDCs, but not in the ASD group. Regions-of-significance analysis indicated that total brain volume was larger in ASD than TDC for individuals with IQ less than 115, providing a potential explanation for prior inconsistent brain size results. No relationships were found between brain volume and measures of autism symptom severity within the ASD group. LIMITATIONS:Our cross-sectional sample may not reflect individual changes over time in brain volume and cannot quantify potential changes in volume prior to age 6. CONCLUSIONS:These findings challenge the "normalization" prediction of the brain overgrowth hypothesis by demonstrating that brain enlargement persists across childhood into early adulthood. The findings raise questions about the clinical implications of brain enlargement, since we find that it neither confers cognitive benefits nor predicts increased symptom severity in ASD.


背景: 经常被引用的自闭症谱系障碍 (ASD) 早期过度生长假说假设在生命的前 2 年存在大脑过度生长,随后是一段停滞的生长过程,导致童年晚期及以后的大脑体积正常化。虽然有一致的证据表明早期大脑过度生长,但到童年中期大脑体积正常化的证据是混杂的。这场辩论的结果对理解 ASD 的病因和神经发育轨迹很重要。 方法: 在两个非常大的儿童、青少年和成人单部位样本中检查脑体积。主要样本包括 456 名 6-25 岁的儿童 (ASD n = 240,通常为发展对照组 (TDC) n = 216),包括大量女性 (n = 102) 并跨越广泛的智商范围 (47-158)。复制样本包括 175 例男性。高分辨率 T1-weighted 解剖 MRI 图像检查全脑、小脑、脑室、灰质和白质体积的组间差异。 结果: ASD 组在两个样本中都有明显更大的总脑、小脑、灰质、白质和侧脑室容积,表明大脑容积在青年期仍然增大,而不是正常化。这些指标与诊断无明显的年龄或性别相互作用。然而,在较大样本中检测到显著的按 IQ 诊断相互作用,因此脑体积增加与 TDCs 中 IQ 较高有关,但在 ASD 组中无关。显著性区域分析表明,对于智商低于 115 的个体,ASD 的总脑体积大于 TDC,为先前不一致的脑大小结果提供了潜在的解释。在 ASD 组中未发现脑体积与自闭症症状严重程度之间的关系。 局限性: 我们的横断面样本可能不能反映大脑体积随时间的个体变化,也不能量化 6 岁前体积的潜在变化。 结论: 这些发现通过证明大脑扩大在整个儿童期持续到成年早期,挑战了大脑过度生长假说的 “正常化” 预测。这些发现提出了关于脑扩大的临床意义的问题,因为我们发现它既没有赋予认知益处,也没有预测 ASD 症状严重程度的增加。



来源期刊:Molecular psychiatry
作者列表:["Li C","Meng F","Garza JC","Liu J","Lei Y","Kirov SA","Guo M","Lu XY"]

METHODS::The adipocyte-derived hormone adiponectin has a broad spectrum of functions beyond metabolic control. We previously reported that adiponectin acts in the brain to regulate depression-related behaviors. However, its underlying neural substrates have not been identified. Here we show that adiponectin receptor 1 (AdipoR1) is expressed in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) and colocalized with tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2), a marker of serotonin (5-HT) neurons. Selective deletion of AdipoR1 in 5-HT neurons induced anhedonia in male mice, as indicated by reduced female urine sniffing time and saccharin preference, and behavioral despair in female mice and enhanced stress-induced decrease in sucrose preference in both sexes. The expression levels of TPH2 were downregulated with a concurrent reduction of 5-HT-immunoreactivity in the DRN and its two major projection regions, the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), in male but not female mice lacking AdipoR1 in 5-HT neurons. In addition, serotonin transporter (SERT) expression was upregulated in both DRN projection fields of male mice but only in the mPFC of female mice. These changes presumably lead to decreased 5-HT synthesis and/or increased 5-HT reuptake, thereby reducing 5-HT transmission. The augmented behavioral responses to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine but not desipramine, a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, observed in conditional knockout male mice supports deficient 5-HT transmission underlying depression-related phenotypes. Our results indicate that adiponectin acts on 5-HT neurons through AdipoR1 receptors to regulate depression-related behaviors in a sex-dependent manner.

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作者列表:["Torretta S","Rampino A","Basso M","Pergola G","Di Carlo P","Shin JH","Kleinman JE","Hyde TM","Weinberger DR","Masellis R","Blasi G","Pennuto M","Bertolino A"]

METHODS::Multiple schizophrenia (SCZ) risk loci may be involved in gene co-regulation mechanisms, and analysis of coexpressed gene networks may help to clarify SCZ molecular basis. We have previously identified a dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) coexpression module enriched for SCZ risk genes and associated with cognitive and neuroimaging phenotypes of SCZ, as well as with response to treatment with antipsychotics. Here we aimed to identify regulatory factors modulating this coexpression module and their relevance to SCZ. We performed motif enrichment analysis to identify transcription factor (TF) binding sites in human promoters of genes coexpressed with DRD2. Then, we measured transcript levels of a group of these genes in primary mouse cortical neurons in basal conditions and upon overexpression and knockdown of predicted TFs. Finally, we analyzed expression levels of these TFs in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of SCZ patients. Our in silico analysis revealed enrichment for NURR1 and ERR1 binding sites. In neuronal cultures, the expression of genes either relevant to SCZ risk (Drd2, Gatad2a, Slc28a1, Cnr1) or indexing coexpression in our module (Btg4, Chit1, Osr1, Gpld1) was significantly modified by gain and loss of Nurr1 and Err1. Postmortem DLPFC expression data analysis showed decreased expression levels of NURR1 and ERR1 in patients with SCZ. For NURR1 such decreased expression is associated with treatment with antipsychotics. Our results show that NURR1 and ERR1 modulate the transcription of DRD2 coexpression partners and support the hypothesis that NURR1 is involved in the response to SCZ treatment.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In the present study, we provide in silico and experimental evidence for a role of the TFs NURR1 and ERR1 in modulating the expression pattern of genes coexpressed with DRD2 in human DLPFC. Notably, genetic variations in these genes is associated with SCZ risk and behavioral and neuroimaging phenotypes of the disease, as well as with response to treatment. Furthermore, this study presents novel findings on a possible interplay between D2 receptor-mediated dopamine signaling involved in treatment with antipsychotics and the transcriptional regulation mechanisms exerted by NURR1. Our results suggest that coexpression and co-regulation mechanisms may help to explain some of the complex biology of genetic associations with SCZ.

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作者列表:["Chadha R","Meador-Woodruff JH"]

METHODS::Abnormal neurotransmission is central to schizophrenia (SZ). Alterations across multiple neurotransmitter systems in SZ suggest that this illness may be associated with dysregulation of core intracellular processes such as signaling pathways that underlie the regulation and integration of these systems. The AKT-mTOR signaling cascade has been implicated in SZ by gene association, postmortem brain and animal studies. AKT and mTOR are serine/threonine kinases which play important roles in cell growth, proliferation, survival, and differentiation. Both AKT and mTOR require phosphorylation at specific sites for their complete activation. mTOR forms two functionally distinct multiprotein complexes, mTOR Complex 1 (mTORC1) and Complex 2 (mTORC2). mTORC1 mediates ribosome biogenesis, protein translation, and autophagy, whereas mTORC2 contributes to actin dynamics. Altered protein synthesis and actin dynamics can lead to an abnormal neuronal morphology resulting in deficits in learning and memory. Currently, there is a lack of direct evidence to support the hypothesis of disrupted mTOR signaling in SZ, and we have addressed this by characterizing this signaling pathway in SZ brain. We found a reduction in AKT and mTOR protein expression and/or phosphorylation state in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) from 22 pairs of SZ and matched comparison subjects. We also found reduced protein expression of GβL, a subunit protein common to both mTOR complexes. We further investigated mTOR complex-specific subunit composition and phosphorylation state, and found abnormal mTOR expression in both complexes in SZ DLPFC. These findings provide evidence that proteins associated with the AKT-mTOR signaling cascade are downregulated in SZ DLPFC.

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