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Activity-dependent neuronal signalling and autism spectrum disorder

Abstract

Neuronal activity induces the post-translational modification of synaptic molecules, promotes localized protein synthesis within dendrites and activates gene transcription, thereby regulating synaptic function and allowing neuronal circuits to respond dynamically to experience. Evidence indicates that many of the genes that are mutated in autism spectrum disorder are crucial components of the activity-dependent signalling networks that regulate synapse development and plasticity. Dysregulation of activity-dependent signalling pathways in neurons may, therefore, have a key role in the aetiology of autism spectrum disorder.

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Figure 1: Regulation of synaptic development and function by neuronal activity.
Figure 2: Neuronal activity regulates mRNA translation and synaptic plasticity.
Figure 3: Activity-dependent gene expression and ASD.
Figure 4: BDNF regulates mRNA translation.

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Acknowledgements

M.E.G. is supported by NIH grant RO1NS048276 and the Rett Syndrome Research Trust. D.H.E. is supported by NIH grant K08MH90306.

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Ebert, D., Greenberg, M. Activity-dependent neuronal signalling and autism spectrum disorder. Nature 493, 327–337 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11860

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