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Neurosci Lett. 2014 Sep 5;579:163-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2014.07.031. Epub 2014 Jul 25.

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

Author information

1
Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, Shriners Hospital for Children of Northern California, 2425 Stockton BLVD, Sacramento, CA 958172, United States.
2
Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California-Davis, United States; MIND Institute, UC Davis, United States.
3
Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, Shriners Hospital for Children of Northern California, 2425 Stockton BLVD, Sacramento, CA 958172, United States; Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine School of Medicine, University of California-Davis, United States; MIND Institute, UC Davis, United States. Electronic address: vmartinezcerdeno@ucdavis.edu.

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.

KEYWORDS:

Autism; Cajal–Retzius cells; Layer I; Postmortem; Reelin; Superior temporal cortex

PMID:
25067827
PMCID:
PMC4324637
DOI:
10.1016/j.neulet.2014.07.031
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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