Bélgica Vásquez & Mariano del Sol
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by persistent deficits in communication and social interaction, as well as restrictive or repetitive activities or interests. Its etiology is complex and heterogeneous, and the neurobiological mechanisms that give rise to the clinical phenotype are not yet fully understood. Research points to genetic and environmental factors that affect the developing brain. These advances are consistent with an enhanced understanding of the physiological functions and pathological potential of neuroglia in the central nervous system (CNS) which supports the conclusion of the contribution of these cells in ASD. Therefore, the objective of this article was to briefly review the key risk factors associated with ASD and then explore the contribution of glia in this disorder. The role of astrocytes, microgliocytes and oligodendrocytes in the homeostatic control of the CNS in the immune regulation of the brain and in axonal myelination, as well as malfunction and morphological alterations of these cells in autistic brains are emphasized.
KEY WORDS: Autism spectrum disorder; Astrocyte; Microgliocyte; Ologodendrocyte; Neuroglia.
VÁSQUEZ, B. & DEL SOL, M. Role of neuroglia in autism spectrum disorder. Int. J. Morphol., 39(3):920-927, 2021.