GABAA receptor downregulation in brains of subjects with autism

S. Hossein Fatemi, Teri J. Reutiman, Timothy D. Folsom, Paul D. Thuras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

270 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA) receptors are ligand-gated ion channels responsible for mediation of fast inhibitory action of GABA in the brain. Preliminary reports have demonstrated altered expression of GABA receptors in the brains of subjects with autism suggesting GABA/glutamate system dysregulation. We investigated the expression of four GABAA receptor subunits and observed significant reductions in GABRA1, GABRA2, GABRA3, and GABRB3 in parietal cortex (Brodmann's Area 40 (BA40)), while GABRA1 and GABRB3 were significantly altered in cerebellum, and GABRA1 was significantly altered in superior frontal cortex (BA9). The presence of seizure disorder did not have a significant impact on GABAA receptor subunit expression in the three brain areas. Our results demonstrate that GABAA receptors are reduced in three brain regions that have previously been implicated in the pathogenesis of autism, suggesting widespread GABAergic dysfunction in the brains of subjects with autism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-230
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Brain
  • GABRA1
  • GABRA2
  • GABRA3
  • GABRB3

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'GABA<sub>A</sub> receptor downregulation in brains of subjects with autism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this