Heritability of the melatonin synthesis variability in autism spectrum disorders

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders with a complex genetic architecture. They are characterized by impaired social communication, stereotyped behaviors and restricted interests and are frequently associated with comorbidities such as intellectual disability, epilepsy and severe sleep disorders. Hyperserotonemia and low melatonin levels are among the most replicated endophenotypes reported in ASD, but their genetic causes remain largely unknown. Based on the biochemical profile of 717 individuals including 213 children with ASD, 128 unaffected siblings and 376 parents and other relatives, we estimated the heritability of whole-blood serotonin, platelet N-acetylserotonin (NAS) and plasma melatonin levels, as well as the two enzymes arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) and acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase (ASMT) activities measured in platelets. Overall, heritability was higher for NAS (0.72 ± 0.091) and ASMT (0.59 ± 0.097) compared with serotonin (0.31 ± 0.078), AANAT (0.34 ± 0.077) and melatonin (0.22 ± 0.071). Bivariate analyses showed high phenotypic and genetic correlations between traits of the second step of the metabolic pathway (NAS, ASMT and melatonin) indicating the contribution of shared genetic factors. A better knowledge of the heritability of the melatonin synthesis variability constitutes an important step to identify the factors that perturb this pathway in individuals with ASD.

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Author:Marion Benabou, Thomas Rolland, Claire S. Leblond, Gaël A. Millot, Guillaume Huguet, Richard Delorme, Marion Leboyer, Cécile Pagan, Jacques Callebert, Erik Maronde, Thomas Bourgeron
Pubmed Id:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29255243
Parent Title (English):Scientific reports
Publisher:Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature
Place of publication:[London]
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2017
Date of first Publication:2017/12/18
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/10/21
Tag:Autism spectrum disorders; Neurochemistry; Quantitative trait
Issue:1, Art. 17746
Page Number:10
First Page:1
Last Page:10
Open Access: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0