Expression of phosphodiesterase 4 is altered in the brains of subjects with autism

Natalie N. Braun, Teri J. Reutiman, Susanne Lee, Timothy D. Folsom, S. Hossein Fatemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The cyclic adenosine monophosphate-specific phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) gene family is the target of several potential therapeutic inhibitors and the PDE4B gene has been associated with schizophrenia and depression. Little, however, is known of any connection between this gene family and autism, with limited effective treatment being available for autism. We measured the expression of PDE4A and PDE4B by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Western blotting in Brodmann's area 40 (BA40, parietal cortex), BA9 (superior frontal cortex), and cerebellum from subjects with autism and matched controls. We observed a lower expression of PDE4A5, PDE4B1, PDE4B3, PDE4B4, and PDE4B2 in the cerebella of subjects with autism when compared with matched controls. In BA9, we observed the opposite: a higher expression of PDE4AX, PDE4A1, and PDE4B2 in subjects with autism. No changes were observed in BA40. Our results demonstrate altered expressions of the PDE4A and PDE4B proteins in the brains of subjects with autism and might provide new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of this debilitating disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1841-1844
Number of pages4
Issue number17
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Autism
  • Brodmann's area40
  • Brodmann's area9
  • Cerebellum
  • Cyclic adenosinemonophosphate (cAMP)
  • Phosphodiesterase 4A
  • Phosphodiesterase 4B
  • Schizophrenia

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