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Synapse (New York, N.Y.)

Expression of astrocytic markers aquaporin 4 and connexin 43 is altered in brains of subjects with autism.


PMID 18435417

Abstract

Neuroanatomical studies have revealed extensive structural brain abnormalities in subjects with autism. Recently, studies have provided evidence of neuroglial responses and neuroinflammation in autism. The current study investigated whether two astrocytic markers, aquaporin 4 and connexin 43, are altered in brains from subjects with autism. Postmortem brain tissues from Brodmann's Area 40 (BA40, parietal cortex), Brodmann's Area 9 (BA9, superior frontal cortex), and cerebella of subjects with autism and matched controls were subject to SDS-PAGE and western blotting. Connexin 43 expression was increased significantly in BA9. Aquaporin 4 expression was decreased significantly in cerebellum. These data suggest that changes are apparent in markers for abnormal glial-neuronal communication (connexin 43 and aquaporin 4) in brains of subjects with autism.