Contribution of maternal hypertension to autism etiology in a murine model; cerebellar gene expression

Hind N. Moussa, Baha M. Sibai, Sean C. Blackwell, Mateo G. Leon, Michael J. Hylin, John B. Redell, Yin Liu, Pramod K. Dash, Monica Longo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To study the contribution of maternal hypertension to autism spectrum disorders' (ASD) phenotype, and gene expression, in a murine model. Materials & methods: To examine the effects of maternal hypertension, we used a well-described transgenic mouse model lacking functional endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS or NOS3). Behavioral testing was performed on Male offspring between 8 and 10 weeks of age. Cerebella underwent shotgun transcriptome RNA sequencing. Differentially expressed genes were examined for Gene Ontology enrichment. 2-way-RM-ANOVA, 1-way-ANOVA and Student's t-test were used for statistical analysis. Results & conclusion: Our findings revealed that a deficit in social behavior, the hallmark of ASD, is differentially present in offspring born to hypertensive mothers. Novel ASD-related genes were differentially expressed in the cerebellum, implicating its possible role in ASD etiology. Condensation: Altered uterine environment resulting from maternal hypertension contributes to ASD phenotype, and modifies expression of novel ASD-related genes in cerebella of eNOS heterozygous offspring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-33
Number of pages13
JournalFuture Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2017


  • autism spectrum disorders
  • behavior
  • cerebellum
  • eNOS
  • genes
  • maternal hypertension
  • offspring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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