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Pediatr Neurol. 2004 Jan;30(1):7-15.

Presence of filamin in the astrocytic inclusions of Aicardi syndrome.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Aicardi syndrome affects only females and has been hypothesized to be an X-linked dominant male-lethal disorder. Because no familial cases can be studied for genetic linkage analysis, the mutated gene has remained elusive. With the goal of selecting genes for mutation analysis by a functional candidate approach, a detailed pathologic analysis of two brains from deceased Aicardi syndrome patients was performed. The presence of micrencephaly, absent or hypoplastic corpus callosum, polymicrogyria, heterotopia, ventriculomegaly, intracerebral cyst, and intracytoplasmic eosinophilic inclusions was confirmed in glial fibrillary acidic protein-positive astrocytes in the cortex and heterotopias, but not in white matter. The inclusions demonstrated strong immunolabeling with antibodies to filamin and vimentin but weak labeling with antibodies to proteins S100 and microtubule-associated protein 1. These findings suggested that an underlying defect in the cytoskeleton, which involves filamin, may cause this condition. Because the filamin A gene in Xq28 is mutated in another disorder with heterotopia, familial bilateral periventricular heterotopia, mutation analysis of filamin A in Aicardi syndrome patients was pursued. No mutations were found, and the full-length protein was expressed in both brain samples. Future studies will focus on investigation of X-linked genes that may affect function of filamin or other cytoskeletal proteins.

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