According to a study in Molecular Psychiatry, some symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may be caused abnormalities in astrocytes.
“We demonstrate that ASD astrocytes induce repetitive behavior as well as impair memory and long-term potentiation when transplanted into the healthy mouse brain,” the study reads.
“These in vivo phenotypes were accompanied by reduced neuronal network activity and spine density caused by ASD astrocytes in hippocampal neurons in vitro.”
The study suggests that astrocyte abnormalities may be a causal factor for the repetitive behavior and memory deficits associated with the condition.
“Data in this study demonstrate that ASD astrocytes induce repetitive behavior as well as deficits in memory and synaptic plasticity, which reflects changes in neuronal network dynamics,” the study found.