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Table 4 Neuronal soma, nucleus and cytoplasm volume deficit in 4- to 8-year old autistic subjects compared to results of previous qualitative and morphometric studies

From: Neuronal nucleus and cytoplasm volume deficit in children with autism and volume increase in adolescents and adults

Brain structure or neuron type Volume deficit in 4- to 8-year-old autistic subjects Alterations of neuron soma size detected in previous studies
Nucleus Cytoplasm Soma
N. accumbens −42%* −32% −34%*  
Thalamus −42%* −24% −27%*  
Claustrum −41%* −27% −29%*  
Purkinje cells −31%* −31% −31%* 24% Purkinje cell area deficit [45]
Amygdala −29%* −23% −24%* Reduced neuron soma size in some amygdala nuclei [47]
Magnocellular basal complex −27%* −21% −22%*  
Putamen −27%* −15% −17% ns  
Entorhinal cortex −27%* −23% −24%* Reduced neuron soma size [47]
Globus pallidus −19%* −20% −20%*  
Parvocellular LGN −19%* −4% −5%*  
Ammon’s horn −18%* −10% −12%* 27% neuron volume deficit in CA4 of 9 y old [48]
Inferior olive −17%* −14% −14% ns Enlarged neurons in less than 12 years old and smaller in over the age of 22 years [50]
Substantia nigra −7%* −4% −5%*  
Magnocellular LGN −16% ns −11% −12%*  
Caudate nucleus −29% ns −20% −22%*  
Dentate nucleus −40% ns −23% −25%* Enlarged neurons in less than 12 years old and smaller in over the age of 22 years [50]
Superior olive * Significant neuron volume deficit in medial superior olive [46]
Superior and middle frontal gyrus *Significantly smaller neurons in six autistic subjects 4 to 24 years of age [42]
Inferior frontal cortex (BA 44 and 45) *Significant neuron volume deficit by 18% in layer III and V, and by 22% in layer VI [32]
Fusiform gyrus *Significant neuron volume deficit by 21% in layer V and by 13.4% in layer VI [34]
Anterior midcingulate cortex *Significant pyramidal neurons volume deficit in young children [43]
Posteroinferior occipitotemporal gyrus *No significant difference in pyramidal neurons volume [53]
Prefrontal cortex *Unchanged size of neurons [54]
Anterior cingulate cortex Significant neuron volume deficit in layers I-III and V-VI [44]
Mammillary body Smaller neurons [47]
Medial septal nucleus Smaller neurons [49]
Fastigial, globose, emboliform nucleus Enlarged neurons in less than 12 years old and smaller in over the age of 22 years [50]
  1. The 16 regions marked with bold were examined in this study. The superior olivary complex and six neocortical regions marked with bold (*) were examined by other researchers using significant amount of material from this cohort of 14 autistic and 14 control subjects. The significance of difference of the cytoplasm volume was not determined due to software limitations.