RELN-expressing neuron density in layer I of the superior temporal lobe is similar in human brains with autism and in age-matched controls

Jasmin Camacho, Ehsan Ejaz, Jeanelle Ariza, Stephen C Noctor, Veronica Martinez-Cerdeno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Reelin protein (RELN) level is reduced in the cerebral cortex and cerebellum of subjects with autism. RELN is synthesized and secreted by a subpopulation of neurons in the developing cerebral cortex termed Cajal-Retzius (CR) cells. These cells are abundant in the marginal zone during cortical development, many die after development is complete, but a small population persists into adulthood. In adult brains, RELN is secreted by the surviving CR cells, by a subset of GABAergic interneurons in layer I, and by pyramidal cells and GABAergic interneurons in deeper cortical layers. It is widely believed that decreased RELN in layer I of the cerebral cortex of subjects with autism may result from a decrease in the density of RELN expressing neurons in layer I; however, this hypothesis has not been tested. We examined RELN expression in layer I of the adult human cortex and found that 70% of cells express RELN in both control and autistic subjects. We quantified the density of neurons in layer I of the superior temporal cortex of subjects with autism and age-matched control subjects. Our data show that there is no change in the density of neurons in layer I of the cortex of subjects with autism, and therefore suggest that reduced RELN expression in the cerebral cortex of subjects with autism is not a consequence of decreased numbers of RELN-expressing neurons in layer I. Instead reduced RELN may result from abnormal RELN processing, or a decrease in the number of other RELN-expressing neuronal cell types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-167
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume579
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 5 2014

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Cajal-Retzius cells
  • Layer I
  • Postmortem
  • Reelin
  • Superior temporal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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