In the current work, we conducted an immunocytochemical search for markers of ongoing neurogenesis (e.g. nestin) in auditory cortex from postmortem sections of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and age-matched control donors. We found nestin labeling in cells of the vascular system, indicating blood vessels plasticity. Evidence of angiogenesis was seen throughout superior temporal cortex (primary auditory cortex), fusiform cortex (face recognition center), pons/midbrain and cerebellum in postmortem brains from ASD patients but not control brains. We found significant increases in both nestin and CD34, which are markers of angiogenesis localized to pericyte cells and endothelial cells, respectively. This labeling profile is indicative of splitting (intussusceptive), rather than sprouting, angiogenesis indicating the blood vessels are in constant flux rather than continually expanding.
Keywords: CD34; Endothelial; Intussusceptive; Nestin; Pericytes; Superior temporal cortex.