Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a synapse-related disorder that is diagnosed at around 3 years of age. Earlier intervention is desirable for better ASD prognosis; however, there is limited biological literature regarding early-age ASD. This study aimed to assess altered cortical synapses and gene expression in the ASD model marmoset. There were distinct phenotypes in the model animals across the neonate, childhood, and mature stages in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 8b/9). At the neonate stage, synapses were underdeveloped and modulated genes were enriched with synaptogenesis- and ASD-related genes. At the childhood stage, synaptic features and gene expressions associated with experience-dependent circuit remodeling were altered in model animals. At the mature stage, there were synapse overdevelopment and altered gene expression similar to those in human ASD. These early synaptic phenotypes and altered gene expressions could be novel targets of efficient therapy from a young age.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience