Review Article Open Access

The Etiological Role of Microglia in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Possible Route for Early Intervention

Ryan Slovak1 and Nitya G. Chakraborty1
  • 1 University of Connecticut School of Medicine, United States

Abstract

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a dreaded diagnosis. The treatment options are sparse and our knowledge of its etiology is woefully lacking. The purpose of this review is to outline a unifying pathway for the pathogenesis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and to describe how this sequence could be exploited to offer early intervention to patients at high risk of developing ASD. Specifically, we will describe how gestational insults can alter the lifelong functioning of fetal microglia. Those aberrant microglia are unable to properly fulfill their roles in cortical differentiation as well as synaptogenesis and the resulting cortical disorganization plus dendritic overgrowth may be responsible for the characteristic Autistic phenotype. This pathogenic pathway presents several opportunities for intervention. If applied early enough, it is possible that these therapies could alleviate some of the symptoms of ASD.

American Journal of Immunology
Volume 13 No. 2, 2017, 99-106

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3844/ajisp.2017.99.106

Submitted On: 14 June 2017 Published On: 24 June 2017

How to Cite: Slovak, R. & Chakraborty, N. G. (2017). The Etiological Role of Microglia in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Possible Route for Early Intervention. American Journal of Immunology, 13(2), 99-106. https://doi.org/10.3844/ajisp.2017.99.106

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Keywords

  • Autism
  • Microglia
  • Gestational Insult
  • Intervention