Pubmed du 24/04/09

lundi 27 avril 2009

1. Longo D, Schuler-Faccini L, Brandalize AP, dos Santos Riesgo R, Bau CH. Influence of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and environmental risk factors in a Brazilian sample of patients with autism spectrum disorders. Brain Res ;2009 (Apr 24) ;1267:9-17.

The 5-HTTLPR polymorphism of serotonin transporter gene is widely investigated in association studies in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The results of such studies, however, remain controversial possibly due to the great genetic heterogeneity related to ASD and the lack of evaluation of the triallelic functional structure of 5-HTTLPR. This study tested for association between the 5-HTTLPR and ASD in a Brazilian sample by case-control and family-based association test (FBAT) methods, considering the biallelic and triallelic structures of this polymorphism. In addition, we performed an exploratory analysis of associations between specific clinical outcomes of ASD patients and 5-HTTLPR as well as several prenatal environmental factors. Genotyping was achieved in 151 ASD patients, 179 unrelated controls and 105 complete trios. There was no evidence of association between the 5-HTTLPR with ASD in both case-control and FBAT tests, but the LaLa 5-HTTLPR genotype was associated with mood instability in patients (P=0.006). The prenatal exposure to potential neuroteratogenic drugs was associated with epilepsy (P<0.001). Our findings suggest that the 5-HTTLPR is not associated with ASD in the Brazilian population, even considering the triallelic structure. Additionally, this study suggested a role of the 5-HTTLPR and environmental factors in the clinical expression of ASD.

2. Maezawa I, Swanberg S, Harvey D, LaSalle JM, Jin LW. Rett syndrome astrocytes are abnormal and spread MeCP2 deficiency through gap junctions. J Neurosci ;2009 (Apr 22) ;29(16):5051-5061.

MECP2, an X-linked gene encoding the epigenetic factor methyl-CpG-binding protein-2, is mutated in Rett syndrome (RTT) and aberrantly expressed in autism. Most children affected by RTT are heterozygous Mecp2-/+ females whose brain function is impaired postnatally due to MeCP2 deficiency. While prior functional investigations of MeCP2 have focused exclusively on neurons and have concluded the absence of MeCP2 in astrocytes, here we report that astrocytes express MeCP2, and MeCP2 deficiency in astrocytes causes significant abnormalities in BDNF regulation, cytokine production, and neuronal dendritic induction, effects that may contribute to abnormal neurodevelopment. In addition, we show that the MeCP2 deficiency state can progressively spread at least in part via gap junction communications between mosaic Mecp2-/+ astrocytes in a novel non-cell-autonomous mechanism. This mechanism may lead to the pronounced loss of MeCP2 observed selectively in astrocytes in mouse Mecp2-/+ brain, which is coincident with phenotypic regression characteristic of RTT. Our results suggest that astrocytes are viable therapeutic targets for RTT and perhaps regressive forms of autism.


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