Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by severe clinical symptoms such as the deficiency of the social communication, repetitive and stereotyped behaviors, and restricted interests. Although complex genetic and environmental factors are thought to contribute to the development of ASD, the precise etiologies are largely unknown. Neuroanatomical observations have been made of developmental abnormalities in different brain regions, including dentate gyrus of hippocampus, which is widely accepted as the center for learning and memory. However, little is known about what roles ASD-associated genes play in the development of hippocampal dentate granule cells. In this article, we summarized functions and pathophysiological significance of 6 representative ASD-associated genes, SEMA5A, PTEN, NLGN, EN-2, FMR1, and MECP2, by focusing on the development of dentate gyrus. We then introduced a recently developed gene transfer method directed to neonatal dentate granule cells. This new method will be useful for elucidating physiological as well as pathophysiological significance of ASD-associated genes in the development of hippocampal formation.
Medical Molecular Morphology – Springer Journals
Published: May 22, 2017
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