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1.
Nat Biomed Eng ; 2019 May 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31110290

RESUMO

Preclinical studies of psychiatric disorders use animal models to investigate the impact of environmental factors or genetic mutations on complex traits such as decision-making and social interactions. Here, we introduce a method for the real-time analysis of the behaviour of mice housed in groups of up to four over several days and in enriched environments. The method combines computer vision through a depth-sensing infrared camera, machine learning for animal and posture identification, and radio-frequency identification to monitor the quality of mouse tracking. It tracks multiple mice accurately, extracts a list of behavioural traits of both individuals and the groups of mice, and provides a phenotypic profile for each animal. We used the method to study the impact of Shank2 and Shank3 gene mutations-mutations that are associated with autism-on mouse behaviour. Characterization and integration of data from the behavioural profiles of Shank2 and Shank3 mutant female mice revealed their distinctive activity levels and involvement in complex social interactions.

2.
Neuroimage ; 197: 527-543, 2019 08 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31063817

RESUMO

More than two decades of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the human brain have succeeded to identify, with a growing level of precision, the neural basis of multiple cognitive skills within various domains (perception, sensorimotor processes, language, emotion and social cognition …). Progress has been made in the comprehension of the functional organization of localized brain areas. However, the long time required for fMRI acquisition limits the number of experimental conditions performed in a single individual. As a consequence, distinct brain localizations have mostly been studied in separate groups of participants, and their functional relationships at the individual level remain poorly understood. To address this issue, we report here preliminary results on a database of fMRI data acquired on 78 individuals who each performed a total of 29 experimental conditions, grouped in 4 cross-domains functional localizers. This protocol has been designed to efficiently isolate, in a single session, the brain activity associated with language, numerical representation, social perception and reasoning, premotor and visuomotor representations. Analyses are reported at the group and at the individual level, to establish the ability of our protocol to selectively capture distinct regions of interest in a very short time. Test-retest reliability was assessed in a subset of participants. The activity evoked by the different contrasts of the protocol is located in distinct brain networks that, individually, largely replicate previous findings and, taken together, cover a large proportion of the cortical surface. We provide detailed analyses of a subset of regions of relevance: the left frontal, left temporal and middle frontal cortices. These preliminary analyses highlight how combining such a large set of functional contrasts may contribute to establish a finer-grained brain atlas of cognitive functions, especially in regions of high functional overlap. Detailed structural images (structural connectivity, micro-structures, axonal diameter) acquired in the same individuals in the context of the ARCHI database provide a promising situation to explore functional/structural interdependence. Additionally, this protocol might also be used as a way to establish individual neurofunctional signatures in large cohorts.

3.
Am J Hum Genet ; 104(5): 815-834, 2019 May 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31031012

RESUMO

We identified individuals with variations in ACTL6B, a component of the chromatin remodeling machinery including the BAF complex. Ten individuals harbored bi-allelic mutations and presented with global developmental delay, epileptic encephalopathy, and spasticity, and ten individuals with de novo heterozygous mutations displayed intellectual disability, ambulation deficits, severe language impairment, hypotonia, Rett-like stereotypies, and minor facial dysmorphisms (wide mouth, diastema, bulbous nose). Nine of these ten unrelated individuals had the identical de novo c.1027G>A (p.Gly343Arg) mutation. Human-derived neurons were generated that recaptured ACTL6B expression patterns in development from progenitor cell to post-mitotic neuron, validating the use of this model. Engineered knock-out of ACTL6B in wild-type human neurons resulted in profound deficits in dendrite development, a result recapitulated in two individuals with different bi-allelic mutations, and reversed on clonal genetic repair or exogenous expression of ACTL6B. Whole-transcriptome analyses and whole-genomic profiling of the BAF complex in wild-type and bi-allelic mutant ACTL6B neural progenitor cells and neurons revealed increased genomic binding of the BAF complex in ACTL6B mutants, with corresponding transcriptional changes in several genes including TPPP and FSCN1, suggesting that altered regulation of some cytoskeletal genes contribute to altered dendrite development. Assessment of bi-alleic and heterozygous ACTL6B mutations on an ACTL6B knock-out human background demonstrated that bi-allelic mutations mimic engineered deletion deficits while heterozygous mutations do not, suggesting that the former are loss of function and the latter are gain of function. These results reveal a role for ACTL6B in neurodevelopment and implicate another component of chromatin remodeling machinery in brain disease.

4.
Transl Psychiatry ; 9(1): 77, 2019 02 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30741946

RESUMO

Developmental dyslexia (DD) is one of the most prevalent learning disorders, with high impact on school and psychosocial development and high comorbidity with conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, and anxiety. DD is characterized by deficits in different cognitive skills, including word reading, spelling, rapid naming, and phonology. To investigate the genetic basis of DD, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of these skills within one of the largest studies available, including nine cohorts of reading-impaired and typically developing children of European ancestry (N = 2562-3468). We observed a genome-wide significant effect (p < 1 × 10-8) on rapid automatized naming of letters (RANlet) for variants on 18q12.2, within MIR924HG (micro-RNA 924 host gene; rs17663182 p = 4.73 × 10-9), and a suggestive association on 8q12.3 within NKAIN3 (encoding a cation transporter; rs16928927, p = 2.25 × 10-8). rs17663182 (18q12.2) also showed genome-wide significant multivariate associations with RAN measures (p = 1.15 × 10-8) and with all the cognitive traits tested (p = 3.07 × 10-8), suggesting (relational) pleiotropic effects of this variant. A polygenic risk score (PRS) analysis revealed significant genetic overlaps of some of the DD-related traits with educational attainment (EDUyears) and ADHD. Reading and spelling abilities were positively associated with EDUyears (p ~ [10-5-10-7]) and negatively associated with ADHD PRS (p ~ [10-8-10-17]). This corroborates a long-standing hypothesis on the partly shared genetic etiology of DD and ADHD, at the genome-wide level. Our findings suggest new candidate DD susceptibility genes and provide new insights into the genetics of dyslexia and its comorbities.


Assuntos
Cognição , Dislexia/genética , Dislexia/psicologia , Adolescente , Adulto , Criança , Estudos de Coortes , Feminino , Predisposição Genética para Doença , Estudo de Associação Genômica Ampla , Genótipo , Humanos , Masculino , Herança Multifatorial , Polimorfismo de Nucleotídeo Único , Adulto Jovem
5.
Behav Brain Res ; 362: 266-272, 2019 04 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30639511

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Autism and synesthesia are neurodevelopmental conditions associated with variants of perceptual processing. They also share some genetic variants and include a large magnitude of intra-categorical variation: 60 types for synesthesia, as well as a spectrum for autism. In order to investigate the relationship between these two phenomena, we investigated the family of FC, an autistic individual who also possess savant abilities and synesthesia manifestations. METHOD: Autistic symptoms were assessed for the entire sample of participants entering the study (39 individuals) using the SRS. Participants above threshold were evaluated with standardized diagnostic tools. Synesthesia was explored in the entire participating sample using a self-reported questionnaire. Consistency tests were used for participants who reported synesthetic manifestations. RESULTS: In addition to FC, four individuals with ASD were detected. Fifteen participants self-reported synesthesia (15 sequence-space, 4 sound-shape, 4 day-color), among which nine sequence-space synesthetes satisfied the consistency criteria. Two participants possess both autism and synesthesia. CONCLUSION: This family illustrates the co-segregation of autism and synesthesia. This co-segregation is in favour of a partially overlapping genetic predisposition for both conditions, but also authorizes a large variety of manifestations in both conditions. The high prevalence of sequence-space synesthesia in this family strengthens the previous assumption that this form of synesthesia may be linked to autism. We discuss the potential role of spatial imagery in the development of this form of synesthesia and savant abilities.


Assuntos
Percepção Auditiva/fisiologia , Transtorno Autístico/complicações , Predisposição Genética para Doença , Transtornos da Percepção/complicações , Adolescente , Adulto , Criança , Percepção de Cores/fisiologia , Feminino , Humanos , Imagens (Psicoterapia)/métodos , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Linhagem , Adulto Jovem
6.
Sci Rep ; 9(1): 94, 2019 Jan 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30643170

RESUMO

The synaptic protein SHANK3 encodes a multidomain scaffold protein expressed at the postsynaptic density of neuronal excitatory synapses. We previously identified de novo SHANK3 mutations in patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and showed that SHANK3 represents one of the major genes for ASD. Here, we analyzed the pyramidal cortical neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells from four patients with ASD carrying SHANK3 de novo truncating mutations. At 40-45 days after the differentiation of neural stem cells, dendritic spines from pyramidal neurons presented variable morphologies: filopodia, thin, stubby and muschroom, as measured in 3D using GFP labeling and immunofluorescence. As compared to three controls, we observed a significant decrease in SHANK3 mRNA levels (less than 50% of controls) in correlation with a significant reduction in dendritic spine densities and whole spine and spine head volumes. These results, obtained through the analysis of de novo SHANK3 mutations in the patients' genomic background, provide further support for the presence of synaptic abnormalities in a subset of patients with ASD.

7.
Front Mol Neurosci ; 11: 365, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30337855

RESUMO

Mouse models of autism can be used to study evolutionarily conserved mechanisms underlying behavioral abnormalities in social communication and repetitive behaviors. SHANK genes code for synaptic scaffolding proteins at excitatory synapses and mutations in all SHANK genes have been associated with autism. Here, we present three behavioral aspects of the mutant mice deleted for exon 16 in Shank2. First, we treated Shank2 mutant mice with methylphenidate to rescue the hyperactivity. Our failure to do so suggests that the hyperactivity displayed by Shank2 mutant mice is not related to the one displayed by the typical mouse models of hyperactivity, and might be more closely related to manic-like behaviors. Second, by testing the effect of group housing and social isolation on social interest, we highlighted that Shank2 mutant mice lack the typical flexibility to modulate social interest, in comparison with wild-type littermates. Finally, we established a new protocol to test for social recognition in a social context. We used this protocol to show that Shank2 mutant mice were able to discriminate familiar and unknown conspecifics in free interactions. Altogether, these studies shed some light on specific aspects of the behavioral defects displayed by the Shank2 mouse model. Such information could be used to orient therapeutic strategies and to design more specific tests to characterize the complex behavior of mouse models of autism.

8.
J Appl Genet ; 2018 Oct 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30284680

RESUMO

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a set of neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by early-onset difficulties in social communication and unusually restricted, repetitive behavior and interests. Parental consanguinity may lead to higher risk of ASD and to more severe clinical presentations in the offspring. Studies of ASD families with high inbreeding enable the identification of inherited variants of this disorder particularly those with an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance. In our study, using copy number variants (CNV) analysis, we identified a rare homozygous deletion in 2p11.2 region that affects ELMOD3, CAPG, and SH2D6 genes in a boy with ASD, intellectual disability (ID), and hearing impairment (HI). This deletion may reveal a new contiguous deletion syndrome in which ELMOD3, known to be implicated in autosomal recessive deafness underlies the HI of the proband and CAPG, member of actin regulatory proteins involved in cytoskeletal dynamic, an important function for brain development and activity, underlies the ASD/ID phenotype. A possible contribution of SH2D6 gene, as a part of a chimeric gene, to the clinical presentation of the patient is discussed. Our result supports the implication of ELMOD3 in hearing loss and highlights the potential clinical relevance of 2p11.2 deletion in autism and/or intellectual disability.

9.
Front Neurosci ; 12: 662, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30327586

RESUMO

Background: There is no consensus in the literature concerning the presence of abnormal alpha wave profiles in patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This may be due to phenotypic heterogeneity among patients as well as the limited sample sizes utilized. Here we present our results of alpha wave profile analysis based on a sample larger than most of those in the field, performed using a robust processing pipeline. Methods: We compared the alpha waves profiles at rest in children with ASD to those of age-, sex-, and IQ-matched control individuals. We used linear regression and non-parametric normative models using age as covariate forparsing the clinical heterogeneity. We explored the correlation between EEG profiles and the patient's brain volumes, obtained from structural MRI. We automatized the detection of the alpha peak and visually quality controled our MRI measurements. We assessed the robustness of our results by running the EEG preprocessing with two different versions of Matlab as well as Python. Results: A simple linear regression between peak power or frequency of the alpha waves and the status or age of the participants did not allow to identify any statistically significant relationship. The non-parametric normative model (which took account the non-linear effect of age on the alpha profiles) suggested that participants with ASD displayed more variability than control participants for both frequency and amplitude of the alpha peak (p < 0.05). Independent of the status of the individual, we also observed weak associations (uncorrected p < 0.05) between the alpha frequency, and the volumes of several cortical and subcortical structures (in particular the striatum), but which did not survive correction for multiple testing and changed between analysis pelines. Discussions: Our study did not find evidence for abnormal alpha wave profiles in ASD. We propose, however, an analysis pipeline to perform standardized and automatized EEG analyses on large cohorts. These should help the community to address the challenge of clinical heterogeneity of ASD and to tackle the problems of reproducibility.

10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30267210

RESUMO

Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are frequent comorbid neurodevelopmental conditions and the overlap between both disorders remains to be delineated. A more complete understanding of the shared genetic and environmental factors is needed. Using a family-based method, we evaluated the risk of ADHD in a group of relatives with an ASD proband (ASD-) and a group of relatives with an ASD and ADHD proband (ASD+). We enrolled 1245 individuals in the study: 499 probands, their 746 first-degree relatives and 140 controls. We used a multivariate generalized estimating equation (GEE) model, in which the dependent variable was the ADHD diagnosis in the relatives and the independent variable the ASD+ or ASD- in probands. We adjusted for sociodemographic factors (age, sex, IQ) and for the nature of the familial relationship with the affected proband (parent or sibling). Among the probands, there were 287 ASD- and 212 ASD+ individuals. ADHD was more frequent in relatives (19%) than in the control group (7%) (p = 0.001). The risk of ADHD was higher in the ASD+ relatives group than in the ASD- relatives group (GEE model OR 1.58 [95% CI 1.04-2.38], p = 0.032). This result was found in parents (OR 1.96 [95% CI 1.14-3.36], but not in siblings (OR 1.28 [95% CI 0.84-1.94], p = 0.434). Our study provides a representative estimate of the family distribution of ADHD in relatives of ASD probands but supports the modest effect of shared genetic and environmental factors between both disorders.

11.
Eur J Hum Genet ; 26(12): 1759-1772, 2018 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30087447

RESUMO

Marfan syndrome (MFS) is a rare autosomal dominant connective tissue disorder related to variants in the FBN1 gene. Prognosis is related to aortic risk of dissection following aneurysm. MFS clinical variability is notable, for age of onset as well as severity and number of clinical manifestations. To identify genetic modifiers, we combined genome-wide approaches in 1070 clinically well-characterized FBN1 disease-causing variant carriers: (1) an FBN1 eQTL analysis in 80 fibroblasts of FBN1 stop variant carriers, (2) a linkage analysis, (3) a kinship matrix association study in 14 clinically concordant and discordant sib-pairs, (4) a genome-wide association study and (5) a whole exome sequencing in 98 extreme phenotype samples.Three genetic mechanisms of variability were found. A new genotype/phenotype correlation with an excess of loss-of-cysteine variants (P = 0.004) in severely affected subjects. A second pathogenic event in another thoracic aortic aneurysm gene or the COL4A1 gene (known to be involved in cerebral aneurysm) was found in nine individuals. A polygenic model involving at least nine modifier loci (named gMod-M1-9) was observed through cross-mapping of results. Notably, gMod-M2 which co-localizes with PRKG1, in which activating variants have already been described in thoracic aortic aneurysm, and gMod-M3 co-localized with a metalloprotease (proteins of extra-cellular matrix regulation) cluster. Our results represent a major advance in understanding the complex genetic architecture of MFS and provide the first steps toward prediction of clinical evolution.

12.
JAMA Psychiatry ; 75(5): 447-457, 2018 May 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29562078

RESUMO

Importance;: Copy number variants (CNVs) classified as pathogenic are identified in 10% to 15% of patients referred for neurodevelopmental disorders. However, their effect sizes on cognitive traits measured as a continuum remain mostly unknown because most of them are too rare to be studied individually using association studies. Objective: To measure and estimate the effect sizes of recurrent and nonrecurrent CNVs on IQ. Design, Setting, and Participants: This study identified all CNVs that were 50 kilobases (kb) or larger in 2 general population cohorts (the IMAGEN project and the Saguenay Youth Study) with measures of IQ. Linear regressions, including functional annotations of genes included in CNVs, were used to identify features to explain their association with IQ. Validation was performed using intraclass correlation that compared IQ estimated by the model with empirical data. Main Outcomes and Measures: Performance IQ (PIQ), verbal IQ (VIQ), and frequency of de novo CNV events. Results: The study included 2090 European adolescents from the IMAGEN study and 1983 children and parents from the Saguenay Youth Study. Of these, genotyping was performed on 1804 individuals from IMAGEN and 977 adolescents, 445 mothers, and 448 fathers (484 families) from the Saguenay Youth Study. We observed 4928 autosomal CNVs larger than 50 kb across both cohorts. For rare deletions, size, number of genes, and exons affect IQ, and each deleted gene is associated with a mean (SE) decrease in PIQ of 0.67 (0.19) points (P = 6 × 10-4); this is not so for rare duplications and frequent CNVs. Among 10 functional annotations, haploinsufficiency scores best explain the association of any deletions with PIQ with a mean (SE) decrease of 2.74 (0.68) points per unit of the probability of being loss-of-function intolerant (P = 8 × 10-5). Results are consistent across cohorts and unaffected by sensitivity analyses removing pathogenic CNVs. There is a 0.75 concordance (95% CI, 0.39-0.91) between the effect size on IQ estimated by our model and IQ loss calculated in previous studies of 15 recurrent CNVs. There is a close association between effect size on IQ and the frequency at which deletions occur de novo (odds ratio, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.84-0.87; P = 2.7 × 10-88). There is a 0.76 concordance (95% CI, 0.41-0.91) between de novo frequency estimated by the model and calculated using data from the DECIPHER database. Conclusions and Relevance: Models trained on nonpathogenic deletions in the general population reliably estimate the effect size of pathogenic deletions and suggest omnigenic associations of haploinsufficiency with IQ. This represents a new framework to study variants too rare to perform individual association studies and can help estimate the cognitive effect of undocumented deletions in the neurodevelopmental clinic.

13.
Transl Psychiatry ; 8(1): 35, 2018 03 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29527006

RESUMO

Empathy is the ability to recognize and respond to the emotional states of other individuals. It is an important psychological process that facilitates navigating social interactions and maintaining relationships, which are important for well-being. Several psychological studies have identified difficulties in both self-report and performance-based measures of empathy in a range of psychiatric conditions. To date, no study has systematically investigated the genetic architecture of empathy using genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Here we report the results of the largest GWAS of empathy to date using a well-validated self-report measure of empathy, the Empathy Quotient (EQ), in 46,861 research participants from 23andMe, Inc. We identify 11 suggestive loci (P < 1 × 10-6), though none were significant at P < 2.5 × 10-8 after correcting for multiple testing. The most significant SNP was identified in the non-stratified analysis (rs4882760; P = 4.29 × 10-8), and is an intronic SNP in TMEM132C. The EQ had a modest but significant narrow-sense heritability (0.11 ± 0.014; P = 1.7 × 10-14). As predicted, based on earlier work, we confirmed a significant female advantage on the EQ (P < 2 × 10-16, Cohen's d = 0.65). We identified similar SNP heritability and high genetic correlation between the sexes. Also, as predicted, we identified a significant negative genetic correlation between autism and the EQ (rg = -0.27 ± 0.07, P = 1.63 × 10-4). We also identified a significant positive genetic correlation between the EQ and risk for schizophrenia (rg = 0.19 ± 0.04; P = 1.36 × 10-5), risk for anorexia nervosa (rg = 0.32 ± 0.09; P = 6 × 10-4), and extraversion (rg = 0.45 ± 0.08; 5.7 × 10-8). This is the first GWAS of self-reported empathy. The results suggest that the genetic variations associated with empathy also play a role in psychiatric conditions and psychological traits.

14.
Biol Psychiatry ; 83(7): 579-588, 2018 Apr 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29146048

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: The neuroanatomical bases of autism spectrum disorder remain largely unknown. Among the most widely discussed candidate endophenotypes, differences in cerebellar volume have been often reported as statistically significant. METHODS: We aimed at objectifying this possible alteration by performing a systematic meta-analysis of the literature and an analysis of the ABIDE (Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange) cohort. Our meta-analysis sought to determine a combined effect size of autism spectrum disorder diagnosis on different measures of the cerebellar anatomy as well as the effect of possible factors of variability across studies. We then analyzed the cerebellar volume of 328 patients and 353 control subjects from the ABIDE project. RESULTS: The meta-analysis of the literature suggested a weak but significant association between autism spectrum disorder diagnosis and increased cerebellar volume (p = .049, uncorrected), but the analysis of ABIDE did not show any relationship. The studies meta-analyzed were generally underpowered; however, the number of statistically significant findings was larger than expected. CONCLUSIONS: Although we could not provide a conclusive explanation for this excess of significant findings, our analyses would suggest publication bias as a possible reason. Finally, age, sex, and IQ were important sources of cerebellar volume variability, although independent of autism diagnosis.

15.
Sci Rep ; 7(1): 17746, 2017 Dec 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29255243

RESUMO

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders with a complex genetic architecture. They are characterized by impaired social communication, stereotyped behaviors and restricted interests and are frequently associated with comorbidities such as intellectual disability, epilepsy and severe sleep disorders. Hyperserotonemia and low melatonin levels are among the most replicated endophenotypes reported in ASD, but their genetic causes remain largely unknown. Based on the biochemical profile of 717 individuals including 213 children with ASD, 128 unaffected siblings and 376 parents and other relatives, we estimated the heritability of whole-blood serotonin, platelet N-acetylserotonin (NAS) and plasma melatonin levels, as well as the two enzymes arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) and acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase (ASMT) activities measured in platelets. Overall, heritability was higher for NAS (0.72 ± 0.091) and ASMT (0.59 ± 0.097) compared with serotonin (0.31 ± 0.078), AANAT (0.34 ± 0.077) and melatonin (0.22 ± 0.071). Bivariate analyses showed high phenotypic and genetic correlations between traits of the second step of the metabolic pathway (NAS, ASMT and melatonin) indicating the contribution of shared genetic factors. A better knowledge of the heritability of the melatonin synthesis variability constitutes an important step to identify the factors that perturb this pathway in individuals with ASD.

16.
Mol Autism ; 8: 24, 2017.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28649312

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: The tremendous clinical and aetiological diversity among individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been a major obstacle to the development of new treatments, as many may only be effective in particular subgroups. Precision medicine approaches aim to overcome this challenge by combining pathophysiologically based treatments with stratification biomarkers that predict which treatment may be most beneficial for particular individuals. However, so far, we have no single validated stratification biomarker for ASD. This may be due to the fact that most research studies primarily have focused on the identification of mean case-control differences, rather than within-group variability, and included small samples that were underpowered for stratification approaches. The EU-AIMS Longitudinal European Autism Project (LEAP) is to date the largest multi-centre, multi-disciplinary observational study worldwide that aims to identify and validate stratification biomarkers for ASD. METHODS: LEAP includes 437 children and adults with ASD and 300 individuals with typical development or mild intellectual disability. Using an accelerated longitudinal design, each participant is comprehensively characterised in terms of clinical symptoms, comorbidities, functional outcomes, neurocognitive profile, brain structure and function, biochemical markers and genomics. In addition, 51 twin-pairs (of which 36 had one sibling with ASD) are included to identify genetic and environmental factors in phenotypic variability. RESULTS: Here, we describe the demographic characteristics of the cohort, planned analytic stratification approaches, criteria and steps to validate candidate stratification markers, pre-registration procedures to increase transparency, standardisation and data robustness across all analyses, and share some 'lessons learnt'. A clinical characterisation of the cohort is given in the companion paper (Charman et al., accepted). CONCLUSION: We expect that LEAP will enable us to confirm, reject and refine current hypotheses of neurocognitive/neurobiological abnormalities, identify biologically and clinically meaningful ASD subgroups, and help us map phenotypic heterogeneity to different aetiologies.


Assuntos
Transtorno do Espectro Autista/diagnóstico por imagem , Encéfalo/diagnóstico por imagem , Medições dos Movimentos Oculares , Heterogeneidade Genética , Adulto , Transtorno do Espectro Autista/classificação , Transtorno do Espectro Autista/genética , Transtorno do Espectro Autista/fisiopatologia , Biomarcadores/análise , Encéfalo/fisiopatologia , Criança , Feminino , Cabelo/química , Humanos , Individualidade , Estudos Longitudinais , Imagem por Ressonância Magnética , Masculino , Neuroimagem/métodos , Seleção de Pacientes , Fenótipo , Medicina de Precisão , Saliva/química , Irmãos
17.
Mol Autism ; 8: 27, 2017.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28649313

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: The EU-AIMS Longitudinal European Autism Project (LEAP) is to date the largest multi-centre, multi-disciplinary observational study on biomarkers for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The current paper describes the clinical characteristics of the LEAP cohort and examines age, sex and IQ differences in ASD core symptoms and common co-occurring psychiatric symptoms. A companion paper describes the overall design and experimental protocol and outlines the strategy to identify stratification biomarkers. METHODS: From six research centres in four European countries, we recruited 437 children and adults with ASD and 300 controls between the ages of 6 and 30 years with IQs varying between 50 and 148. We conducted in-depth clinical characterisation including a wide range of observational, interview and questionnaire measures of the ASD phenotype, as well as co-occurring psychiatric symptoms. RESULTS: The cohort showed heterogeneity in ASD symptom presentation, with only minimal to moderate site differences on core clinical and cognitive measures. On both parent-report interview and questionnaire measures, ASD symptom severity was lower in adults compared to children and adolescents. The precise pattern of differences varied across measures, but there was some evidence of both lower social symptoms and lower repetitive behaviour severity in adults. Males had higher ASD symptom scores than females on clinician-rated and parent interview diagnostic measures but not on parent-reported dimensional measures of ASD symptoms. In contrast, self-reported ASD symptom severity was higher in adults compared to adolescents, and in adult females compared to males. Higher scores on ASD symptom measures were moderately associated with lower IQ. Both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive ADHD symptoms were lower in adults than in children and adolescents, and males with ASD had higher levels of inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive ADHD symptoms than females. CONCLUSIONS: The established phenotypic heterogeneity in ASD is well captured in the LEAP cohort. Variation both in core ASD symptom severity and in commonly co-occurring psychiatric symptoms were systematically associated with sex, age and IQ. The pattern of ASD symptom differences with age and sex also varied by whether these were clinician ratings or parent- or self-reported which has important implications for establishing stratification biomarkers and for their potential use as outcome measures in clinical trials.


Assuntos
Transtorno do Espectro Autista/diagnóstico , Heterogeneidade Genética , Comportamento Impulsivo , Individualidade , Adolescente , Adulto , Fatores Etários , Transtorno do Espectro Autista/classificação , Transtorno do Espectro Autista/genética , Transtorno do Espectro Autista/fisiopatologia , Biomarcadores/análise , Criança , Feminino , Humanos , Estudos Longitudinais , Masculino , Pais/psicologia , Fenótipo , Autorrelato , Índice de Gravidade de Doença , Fatores Sexuais , Inquéritos e Questionários
18.
Adv Anat Embryol Cell Biol ; 224: 1-25, 2017.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28551748

RESUMO

Until recently autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was regarded as a neurodevelopmental condition with unknown causes and pathogenesis. In the footsteps of the revolution of genome technologies and genetics, and with its high degree of heritability, ASD became the first neuropsychiatric disorder for which clues towards molecular and cellular pathogenesis were uncovered by genetic identification of susceptibility genes. Currently several hundreds of risk genes have been assigned, with a recurrence below 1% in the ASD population. The multitude and diversity of known ASD genes has extended the clinical notion that ASD comprises very heterogeneous conditions ranging from severe intellectual disabilities to mild high-functioning forms. The results of genetics have allowed to pinpoint a limited number of cellular and molecular processes likely involved in ASD including protein synthesis, signal transduction, transcription/chromatin remodelling and synaptic function all playing an essential role in the regulation of synaptic homeostasis during brain development. In this context, we highlight the role of protein synthesis as a key process in ASD pathogenesis as it might be central in synaptic deregulation and a potential target for intervention. These current insights should lead to a rational design of interventions in molecular and cellular pathways of ASD pathogenesis that may be applied to affected individuals in the future.


Assuntos
Transtorno do Espectro Autista/genética , Transtorno do Espectro Autista/patologia , Biologia Celular , Genética Humana , Predisposição Genética para Doença , Humanos , Biossíntese de Proteínas , Sinapses/metabolismo
19.
Adv Anat Embryol Cell Biol ; 224: 85-101, 2017.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28551752

RESUMO

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition primarily characterised by alterations in social interaction and communication combined with the presence of restricted interests and stereotyped behaviours. Mutations in several genes have been associated with ASD resulting in the generation of corresponding mouse models. Here, we focus on the behavioural (social and stereotyped behaviours), functional and structural traits of mice with mutations in genes encoding defined synaptic proteins including adhesion proteins, scaffolding proteins and subunits of channels and receptors. A meta-analysis on ASD mouse models shows that they can be divided into two subgroups. Cluster I gathered models highly impaired in social interest, stereotyped behaviours, synaptic physiology and protein composition, while Cluster II regrouped much less impaired models, with typical social interactions. This distribution was not related to gene families. Even within the large panel of mouse models carrying mutations in Shank3, the number of mutated isoforms was not related to the severity of the phenotype. Our study points that the majority of structural or functional analyses were performed in the hippocampus. However, to robustly link the structural and functional impairments with the behavioural deficits observed, brain structures forming relevant nodes in networks involved in social and stereotyped behaviours should be targeted in the future. In addition, the characterisation of core ASD-like behaviours needs to be more detailed using new approaches quantifying the variations in social motivation, recognition and stereotyped behaviours.


Assuntos
Transtorno do Espectro Autista/patologia , Transtorno do Espectro Autista/fisiopatologia , Comportamento Animal , Rede Nervosa/patologia , Rede Nervosa/fisiopatologia , Animais , Modelos Animais de Doenças , Camundongos , Fenótipo , Comportamento Social
20.
Sci Rep ; 7(1): 2096, 2017 05 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28522826

RESUMO

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by a wide genetic and clinical heterogeneity. However, some biochemical impairments, including decreased melatonin (crucial for circadian regulation) and elevated platelet N-acetylserotonin (the precursor of melatonin) have been reported as very frequent features in individuals with ASD. To address the mechanisms of these dysfunctions, we investigated melatonin synthesis in post-mortem pineal glands - the main source of melatonin (9 patients and 22 controls) - and gut samples - the main source of serotonin (11 patients and 13 controls), and in blood platelets from 239 individuals with ASD, their first-degree relatives and 278 controls. Our results elucidate the enzymatic mechanism for melatonin deficit in ASD, involving a reduction of both enzyme activities contributing to melatonin synthesis (AANAT and ASMT), observed in the pineal gland as well as in gut and platelets of patients. Further investigations suggest new, post-translational (reduced levels of 14-3-3 proteins which regulate AANAT and ASMT activities) and post-transcriptional (increased levels of miR-451, targeting 14-3-3ζ) mechanisms to these impairments. This study thus gives insights into the pathophysiological pathways involved in ASD.

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