Decreased parvalbumin mRNA expression in cerebellar Purkinje cells in autism
MetadataShow full item record
Earlier human and animal studies have indicated abnormal striatal GABAergic interneurons relating to autism spectrum disorder’s (ASD) core features such as stereotypic repetitive behaviors, impaired language and motor skills, and social interactions. Purkinje cells (PCs) in the cerebellum are of great interest in ASD; earlier research has reported a loss of PCs, irregularities within deep cerebellar nuclei, a lower level of GAD67 (glutamic acid decarboxylase) mRNA expressed on PCs, and reduced parvalbumin (PV)-positive interneurons in cortex and hippocampus. In this study, in-situ hybridization was used to quantify the levels of PV mRNA in PCs in post-mortem human autism and control cerebellum sections. Two-tailed t-test analysis of the data showed a significant decrease (p<0.05) in PV mRNA level on PCs in autism compared to control sections. In addition, when comparing two groups (seizure and no seizure) in autism sections, no statistical significance was observed. Post-mortem interval (PMI) and age was compared between the PV mRNA levels in autism and control. Only weak negative correlation was found among age and PV mRNA levels in both groups. This report of decreased PV mRNA level in autism cases further supported previous research findings related to PCs and also confirmed interference with the inhibitory function of PCs to deep cerebellar nuclei and the cortex resulting in behavioral and motor impairments in ASD.