Sex-dependent cytokine release; KATNAL2 gene; auditory processing in fragile X syndrome

Here is a roundup of autism-related news and research spotted around the web for the week of 20 May.

  • Cortical gamma-band oscillations in response to speech, which are thought to be related to the excitatory-inhibitory balance in the brain, are greater in autistic people than in non-autistic people. Molecular Autism
  • Maternal immune activation in mice, a model of autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions, spurs more cytokine release in male offspring than in female ones. Journal of Neuroinflammation
  • Mice missing KATNAL2, an autism-linked gene, have altered social-communication behaviors and enlarged brain ventricles, which appear to be triggered by glial ciliary action. PLOS Biology
Research image of cerebral blood volume in mouse brains.
Low flow: Cerebral blood volume is decreased in many brain areas (red, orange, yellow) in mice missing the autism-linked gene KATNAL2.
  • Mice missing the FMR1 gene, a model of fragile X syndrome, show enhanced auditory event response potentials and sex-based differences in the maturation of temporal processing. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • A novel statistical method called CWAS-Plus links noncoding variants to functional outputs. The technique has identified transcription factor binding sites associated with autism, according to a preprint. medRxiv

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