The Cerebellum

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 64–69

Expression of GABAB Receptors Is Altered in Brains of Subjects with Autism

  • S. Hossein Fatemi
  • Timothy D. Folsom
  • Teri J. Reutiman
  • Paul D. Thuras
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12311-008-0075-3

Cite this article as:
Fatemi, S.H., Folsom, T.D., Reutiman, T.J. et al. Cerebellum (2009) 8: 64. doi:10.1007/s12311-008-0075-3

Abstract

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is often comorbid with seizures. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in brain. GABAB receptors play an important role in maintaining excitatory–inhibitory balance in brain and alterations may lead to seizures. We compared levels of GABAB receptor subunits GABAB receptor 1 (GABBR1) and GABAB receptor 2 (GABBR2) in cerebellum, Brodmann’s area 9 (BA9), and BA40 of subjects with autism and matched controls. Levels of GABBR1 were significantly decreased in BA9, BA40, and cerebellum, while GABBR2 was significantly reduced in the cerebellum. The presence of seizure disorder did not have a significant impact on the observed reductions in GABAB receptor subunit expression. Decreases in GABAB receptor subunits may help explain the presence of seizures that are often comorbid with autism, as well as cognitive difficulties prevalent in autism.

Keywords

GABBR1GABBR2AutismCerebellumBA9BA40

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Hossein Fatemi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Timothy D. Folsom
    • 1
  • Teri J. Reutiman
    • 1
  • Paul D. Thuras
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Division of Neuroscience ResearchUniversity of Minnesota Medical SchoolMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Neuroscience and PharmacologyUniversity of Minnesota Medical SchoolMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryVA Medical CenterMinneapolisUSA