Preliminary findings suggest the number and volume of supragranular and infragranular pyramidal neurons are similar in the anterior superior temporal area of control subjects and subjects with autism

Neurosci Lett. 2015 Mar 4;589:98-103. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2015.01.021. Epub 2015 Jan 9.

Abstract

We investigated the cytoarchitecture of the anterior superior temporal area (TA2) of the postmortem cerebral cortex in 9 subjects with autism and 9 age-matched typically developing subjects between the ages of 13 and 56 years. The superior temporal gyrus is involved in auditory processing and social cognition and its pathology has been correlated with autism. We quantified the number and soma volume of pyramidal neurons in the supragranular layers and pyramidal neurons in the infragranular layers in each subject. We did not find significant differences in the number or volume of supragranular or infragranular neurons in the cerebral cortex of subjects with autism compared to typically developing subjects. This report does not support an alteration of supragranular to infragranular neurons in autism. However, further stereological analysis of the number of cells and cell volumes in specific cortical areas is needed to better establish the cellular phenotype of the autistic cerebral cortex and to understand its clinical relevance in autism.

Keywords: Autism; Human; Postmortem; Pyramidal neurons; Superior temporal cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autistic Disorder / pathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Size
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pyramidal Cells / pathology*
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology*
  • Young Adult