Overproduction of Upper-Layer Neurons in the Neocortex Leads to Autism-like Features in Mice

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • Wei-Qun Fang
  • Wei-Wei Chen
  • Liwen Jiang
  • Kai Liu
  • Amy K.Y. Fu
  • Nancy Y. Ip

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1635-1643
Journal / PublicationCell Reports
Volume9
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes

Link(s)

Abstract

The functional integrity of the neocortex depends upon proper numbers of excitatory and inhibitory neurons; however, the consequences of dysregulated neuronal production during the development of the neocortex are unclear. As excess cortical neurons are linked to the neurodevelopmental disorder autism, we investigated whether the overproduction of neurons leads to neocortical malformation and malfunction in mice. We experimentally increased the number of pyramidal neurons in the upper neocortical layers by using the small molecule XAV939 to expand the intermediate progenitor population. The resultant overpopulation of neurons perturbs development of dendrites and spines ofexcitatory neurons and alters the laminar distribution of interneurons. Furthermore, these phenotypic changes are accompanied by dysregulated excitatory and inhibitory synaptic connection and balance. Importantly, these mice exhibit behavioral abnormalities resembling those of human autism. Thus, our findings collectively suggest a causal relationship between neuronal overproduction and autism-like features, providing developmental insights into the etiology of autism. Fang etal. generated a mouse model with excessive excitatory neurons in the neocortex by manipulating embryonic neurogenesis. Overproduction of neurons results in autism-like anatomical and behavioral features. These findings suggest a causal relationship between overproduction of neurons and cortical malfunction and provide developmental insights into the etiology of autism. © 2014 The Authors.

Research Area(s)

Bibliographic Note

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Citation Format(s)

Overproduction of Upper-Layer Neurons in the Neocortex Leads to Autism-like Features in Mice. / Fang, Wei-Qun; Chen, Wei-Wei; Jiang, Liwen et al.
In: Cell Reports, Vol. 9, No. 5, 11.12.2014, p. 1635-1643.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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