Project Title

Laser Capture Microdissection Analysis of Inflammatory-Related Alterations in Postmortem Brain Tissue of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors' Affiliations

Brooke Beasley, Department of Health Sciences, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Sciara, Aubrey, Department of Biomedical Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Carrasco, Tiffani, Dartmouth Institute, Hanover, NH. Ordway, Gregory, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, TN. Chandley, Michelle, Department of Health Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.

Location

White Top Mtn

Start Date

4-12-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

4-12-2019 2:30 PM

Poster Number

121

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Health Sciences

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Michelle Chandley

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Undergraduate Student

Project's Category

Neurological Disorders

Abstract Text

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a social, sensory and developmental condition that affects one in 59 children and specifically one in 42 boys. Despite the 15% increase in prevalence in the last two years, there is no specific etiology, objective diagnostic criteria, or drug treatment. However, up-regulation of inflammation in ASD patients has been demonstrated in blood samples. Increased peripheral inflammation could have devastating effects on the developing brain. Peripheral inflammation in the blood could cross the blood-brain-barrier to stimulate microglia in the brain to produce aberrant levels of cytokines that regulate neuroinflammation such as insulin-like growth factor one (IGF1) that could alter neuronal cell-surface expression and neurotransmission. Additionally, arginase serves as a marker of inflammation, produced and expressed during cellular remodeling during brain injury. A balance of neurotransmitters, glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), is critical to facilitate inter-regional signaling in the brain. Alterations of inflammatory molecules and the effects on glutamatergic neurons ability to uptake GABA in certain brain areas is currently unknown in ASD. Pathological changes in brain areas associated with social behaviors have been identified in postmortem tissue from ASD donors when compared to typically developing (TD) age and gender matched control tissue, as well as, in imaging scans of living individuals with ASD. We hypothesize that expression of inflammatory related molecules are increased in the identified brain areas related to symptoms of ASD and can be associated with altered gene expression changes in neurons as shown by gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptor alpha 1 subunit (GABRA1). Dysfunction of GABRA1 on glutamatergic neurons could disrupt the typical neuronal balance of glutamate and GABA signaling. Inflammatory markers, IGF1 and insulin-like growth factor one receptor (IGF1R), were evaluated using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR). Additionally, IGF1 and arginase were evaluated using immunohistochemistry in both white and gray matter from the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Laser capture microdissection (LCM) was used to obtain single cell captures of glutamatergic neurons. IGF1R and GABRA1 gene expression was measured using end point PCR. A significant increase in IGF1 expression was obtained in the white matter punch in comparison to typically developed age-matched subjects using QPCR during initial statistical significance, however, was ultimately not significant. Additionally, IGF1R expression was significantly increased in ASD neurons in comparison to TD subjects utilizing the LCM method. However, a decrease expression in GABRA1 trended significance indicating a possible alteration in the neuron’s ability to facilitate proper signaling. These findings are the foundation of future investigations of signaling pathways in ASD that may uncover cell-specific etiologies and drug therapies for a condition that is only projected to increase in prevalence.

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Apr 12th, 9:00 AM Apr 12th, 2:30 PM

Laser Capture Microdissection Analysis of Inflammatory-Related Alterations in Postmortem Brain Tissue of Autism Spectrum Disorder

White Top Mtn

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a social, sensory and developmental condition that affects one in 59 children and specifically one in 42 boys. Despite the 15% increase in prevalence in the last two years, there is no specific etiology, objective diagnostic criteria, or drug treatment. However, up-regulation of inflammation in ASD patients has been demonstrated in blood samples. Increased peripheral inflammation could have devastating effects on the developing brain. Peripheral inflammation in the blood could cross the blood-brain-barrier to stimulate microglia in the brain to produce aberrant levels of cytokines that regulate neuroinflammation such as insulin-like growth factor one (IGF1) that could alter neuronal cell-surface expression and neurotransmission. Additionally, arginase serves as a marker of inflammation, produced and expressed during cellular remodeling during brain injury. A balance of neurotransmitters, glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), is critical to facilitate inter-regional signaling in the brain. Alterations of inflammatory molecules and the effects on glutamatergic neurons ability to uptake GABA in certain brain areas is currently unknown in ASD. Pathological changes in brain areas associated with social behaviors have been identified in postmortem tissue from ASD donors when compared to typically developing (TD) age and gender matched control tissue, as well as, in imaging scans of living individuals with ASD. We hypothesize that expression of inflammatory related molecules are increased in the identified brain areas related to symptoms of ASD and can be associated with altered gene expression changes in neurons as shown by gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptor alpha 1 subunit (GABRA1). Dysfunction of GABRA1 on glutamatergic neurons could disrupt the typical neuronal balance of glutamate and GABA signaling. Inflammatory markers, IGF1 and insulin-like growth factor one receptor (IGF1R), were evaluated using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR). Additionally, IGF1 and arginase were evaluated using immunohistochemistry in both white and gray matter from the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Laser capture microdissection (LCM) was used to obtain single cell captures of glutamatergic neurons. IGF1R and GABRA1 gene expression was measured using end point PCR. A significant increase in IGF1 expression was obtained in the white matter punch in comparison to typically developed age-matched subjects using QPCR during initial statistical significance, however, was ultimately not significant. Additionally, IGF1R expression was significantly increased in ASD neurons in comparison to TD subjects utilizing the LCM method. However, a decrease expression in GABRA1 trended significance indicating a possible alteration in the neuron’s ability to facilitate proper signaling. These findings are the foundation of future investigations of signaling pathways in ASD that may uncover cell-specific etiologies and drug therapies for a condition that is only projected to increase in prevalence.