BackgroundNeuroglial cells that provide homeostatic support and form defence of the nervous system contribute to all neurological disorders. We analyzed three major types of neuroglia, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia in the brains of an animal model of autism spectrum disorder, in which rats were exposed prenatally to antiepileptic and mood stabilizer drug valproic acid; this model being of acknowledged clinical relevance.MethodsWe tested the autistic-like behaviors of valproic acid-prenatally exposed male rats by performing isolation-induced ultrasonic vocalizations, the three-chamber test, and the hole board test. To account for human infancy, adolescence, and adulthood, such tasks were performed at postnatal day 13, postnatal day 35, and postnatal day 90, respectively. After sacrifice, we examined gene and protein expression of specific markers of neuroglia in hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and cerebellum, these brain regions being associated with autism spectrum disorder pathogenesis.ResultsInfant offspring of VPA-exposed dams emitted less ultrasonic vocalizations when isolated from their mothers and siblings and, in adolescence and adulthood, they showed altered sociability in the three chamber test and increased stereotypic behavior in the hole board test. Molecular analyses indicate that prenatal valproic acid exposure affects all types of neuroglia, mainly causing transcriptional modifications. The most prominent changes occur in prefrontal cortex and in the hippocampus of autistic-like animals; these changes are particularly evident during infancy and adolescence, while they appear to be mitigated in adulthood.ConclusionsNeuroglial pathological phenotype in autism spectrum disorder rat model appears to be rather mild with little signs of widespread and chronic neuroinflammation.

Neuroglia in the autistic brain: evidence from a preclinical model

Steardo, Luca;
2018-01-01

Abstract

BackgroundNeuroglial cells that provide homeostatic support and form defence of the nervous system contribute to all neurological disorders. We analyzed three major types of neuroglia, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia in the brains of an animal model of autism spectrum disorder, in which rats were exposed prenatally to antiepileptic and mood stabilizer drug valproic acid; this model being of acknowledged clinical relevance.MethodsWe tested the autistic-like behaviors of valproic acid-prenatally exposed male rats by performing isolation-induced ultrasonic vocalizations, the three-chamber test, and the hole board test. To account for human infancy, adolescence, and adulthood, such tasks were performed at postnatal day 13, postnatal day 35, and postnatal day 90, respectively. After sacrifice, we examined gene and protein expression of specific markers of neuroglia in hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and cerebellum, these brain regions being associated with autism spectrum disorder pathogenesis.ResultsInfant offspring of VPA-exposed dams emitted less ultrasonic vocalizations when isolated from their mothers and siblings and, in adolescence and adulthood, they showed altered sociability in the three chamber test and increased stereotypic behavior in the hole board test. Molecular analyses indicate that prenatal valproic acid exposure affects all types of neuroglia, mainly causing transcriptional modifications. The most prominent changes occur in prefrontal cortex and in the hippocampus of autistic-like animals; these changes are particularly evident during infancy and adolescence, while they appear to be mitigated in adulthood.ConclusionsNeuroglial pathological phenotype in autism spectrum disorder rat model appears to be rather mild with little signs of widespread and chronic neuroinflammation.
2018
Astrocyte
Autism spectrum disorder
Microglia
Oligodendrocyte
Valproic acid
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12317/91879
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 57
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 58
social impact