Neocortical vasculature abnormalities in the Fragile X mental retardation syndrome

Ashley M. Galvan, Roberto Galvez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the leading form of inherited mental retardation. To date, the most prominent neuronal phenotype associated with the syndrome is an abundance of long thin spines exhibiting an immature morphology. However, in addition to synaptic abnormalities, recent case studies have demonstrated that Fragile X (FX) patients also exhibit abnormal cerebral blood flow (CBF). To examine the role of the Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) in altering CBF, we examined blood vessel density (BVD) in the visual cortex of Adult and Middle-aged FX mice. Analysis of Middle-aged FX mice demonstrated elevated BVD compared to wildtype controls, suggesting that FX mice exhibit a lack of age-induced BVD plasticity. However, Adult FX and wildtype mice did not exhibit consistent differences in BVD. These data demonstrate that FMRP is required for age-induced neocortical vasculature plasticity. Furthermore, these data suggest a new role for FMRP in blood vessel regulation that would have profound implications towards appropriately timed delivery of neuronal nutrients, thus contributing to or exacerbating FX cognitive and neuronal abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
StatePublished - Aug 30 2012


  • Blood vessel
  • FMRP
  • Fmr1
  • Middle-age
  • Visual cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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