Alteration of brain volume in IL-6 overexpressing mice related to autism

Hongen Wei, Susumu Mori, Kegang Hua, Xiaohong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Abnormal neuroimmune responses have been reported to be associated with autism and could be appropriate targets for pharmacologic intervention. Our previous studies showed that neuroimmune factor, interleukin (IL)-6, was significantly elevated in the fontal cortex and cerebellum of autistic subjects. The IL-6 overexpressing mice displayed several autism-like features as well as an abnormal dendritic spine morphology and synaptic function. The purpose of this study was to examine the volumetric differences in the brain of IL-6 overexpressing mice and compare with corresponding control mice using magnetic resonance imaging. Here we show that IL-6 overexpressing mice display an increase in the total brain volume. In addition, the lateral ventricle is also enlarged in the IL-6 overexpressing mice. The brain structures surrounding the lateral ventricle were squeezed and deformed from the normal location. These results indicate that IL-6 elevation in the brain could mediate neuroanatomical abnormalities. Taking together with our previous findings, a mechanism by which IL-6 may be involved in the pathogenesis of autism is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-559
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Volume30
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Brain
  • Interleukin-6
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Volume measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology

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