Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopment disorder that has an important environmental component. Thus, in addition to genetic predisposition, epigenetic aspects seem to be involved with this disorder. Some studies have shown, for example, alteration of the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the post-mortem brain of ASD patients. Our group demonstrated that the valproic acid experimental model of ASD show deregulation of miRNAs expression. However, there are no extensive studies on the epigenetic characteristics, especially of miRNAs, in this disorder. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate possible changes in the expression of miRNA in neurons differentiated in vitro from iPSC of ASD patients. Patients with a clinical diagnosis of ASD have already been recruited. IPSC was obtained from the blood cells and will be differentiated into neurons; these, in turn, will be submitted to the extraction of miRNAs, which will have their expression analyzed by RT-qPCR. The data obtained will be compared with those obtained from peripheral blood mononuclear cells and sperm from the fathers of ASD patients that are being obtained in two other parallel studies in our group. This study is part of a larger study of our group on TEA epigenetic inheritance.
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