The role of GABAergic neural circuits in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorder

Author: Di, Jing; Li, Jian; O’Hara, Bruce; Alberts, Ian; Xiong, Lei; Li, Jijun; Li, Xiaohong

Description: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) comprises a heterogeneous range of neurodevelopmental conditions represented by symptoms including, communication and language deficits, repetitive, and restricted patterns of behavior and inadequate social interactions. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is known to mediate I responses in the central nervous system by interacting with GABA signaling receptors. In this context, several recent investigations suggest that imbalances in the GABAergic neurotransmission system may be implicated in the development of ASD as well as several other neurodevelopmental disorders, including Fragile X syndrome (FXS) and Rett syndrome. This review initially expounds the functional role of the GABAergic system in the mature brain and during neurodevelopment. This will be followed by discussions concerning the impact of deficiencies in the system on ASD and the other above-mentioned neurodevelopment disorders. Finally, the connections between these deficiencies and behavioral features observed in the clinic will be considered.

Subject headings: Autism spectrum disorder; Fragile X syndrome; GABA; I interneurons; Rett syndrome

Publication year: 2020

Journal or book title: International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience

Volume: 80

Issue: 2

Pages: 73-85

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Type: Journal article

Serial number: 3159

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