Article

Gene expression profiling of lymphoblastoid cell lines from monozygotic twins discordant in severity of autism reveals differential regulation of neurologically relevant genes.

The George Washington University Medical Center, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2300 Eye St, N.W. Washington, DC 20037, USA.
BMC Genomics (Impact Factor: 4.04). 02/2006; 7:118. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-7-118
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The autism spectrum encompasses a set of complex multigenic developmental disorders that severely impact the development of language, non-verbal communication, and social skills, and are associated with odd, stereotyped, repetitive behavior and restricted interests. To date, diagnosis of these neurologically based disorders relies predominantly upon behavioral observations often prompted by delayed speech or aberrant behavior, and there are no known genes that can serve as definitive biomarkers for the disorders.
Here we demonstrate, for the first time, that lymphoblastoid cell lines from monozygotic twins discordant with respect to severity of autism and/or language impairment exhibit differential gene expression patterns on DNA microarrays. Furthermore, we show that genes important to the development, structure, and/or function of the nervous system are among the most differentially expressed genes, and that many of these genes map closely in silico to chromosomal regions containing previously reported autism candidate genes or quantitative trait loci.
Our results provide evidence that novel candidate genes for autism may be differentially expressed in lymphoid cell lines from individuals with autism spectrum disorders. This finding further suggests the possibility of developing a molecular screen for autism based on expressed biomarkers in peripheral blood lymphocytes, an easily accessible tissue. In addition, gene networks are identified that may play a role in the pathophysiology of autism.

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