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Endocr Regul. 2019 Jan 1;53(1):46-54. doi: 10.2478/enr-2019-0006.

Neuronal morphology alterations in autism and possible role of oxytocin.

Author information

1
Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia.
2
Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Biomedical Research Center, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Abstract

Current understanding of the neuroanatomical abnormalities in autism includes gross anatomical changes in several brain areas and microstructural alterations in neuronal cells as well. There are many controversies in the interpretation of the imaging data, evaluation of volume and size of particular brain areas, and their functional translation into a broad autism phenotype. Critical questions of neuronal pathology in autism include the concept of the reversible plasticity of morphological changes, volume alterations of brain areas, and both short- and long-term consequences of adverse events present during the brain development. At the cellular level, remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton is considered as one of the critical factors associated with the autism spectrum disorders. Alterations in the composition of the neuronal cytoskeleton, in particular abnormalities in the polymerization of actin filaments and their associated proteins underlie the functional consequences in behavior resulting in symptoms and clinical correlates of autism spectrum disorder. In the present review, a special attention is devoted to the role of oxytocin in experimental models of neurodevelopmental disorders manifesting alterations in neuronal morphology.

KEYWORDS:

autism; brain anatomy; oxytocin; structural neuronal changes

PMID:
31517618
DOI:
10.2478/enr-2019-0006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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