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Martinez-Cerdeno, Veronica

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Veronica Martinez-Cerdeno
Title:
Associate Investigator, Shriners Hospitals for Children
Associate Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of California, Davis
Office Address: 2425 Stockton Blvd, Room 671
Sacramento, CA 95817
Office Phone:
(916) 453-2163
E-Mail Address: vmartinezcerdeno (at) ucdavis.edu
Education: Complutense University, Madrid, Spain B.S. 1993-98 Biology
Autonóma University of Madrid, Spain Ph.D. 1998-02 Neuroscience
Columbia University, NY Postdoctoral training 2002-04 Brain Development
University of California, San Francisco Postdoctoral training 2004-07 Brain Development
University of California, Davis, M.I.N.D. Institute, Postdoctoral training 2007-08 Autism

Research Papers: Click Here for Research Paper Links


Research Interests:

The goal of Dr. Martínez-Cerdeño's laboratory is to determine the etiology and the pathology of some forms of autism. In addition, we study the role of stem cells in the development, evolution, and pathogenesis of the mammalian cerebral cortex. We study the anatomy and pathology of autism and related diseases in postmortem brains and based on our finding we develop animal models for autism research. Animal model mimicking our findings in human provide an excellent tool to generate and test new treatment for different kinds of autism.

Current Research:

We investigate the pathology, anatomy, and histology of postmortem tissue from subjects with autism and related disorders, including Fragile X Syndrome, and Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). Our most recent discovery is that parvalbumin-expressing interneurons are reduced in discrete areas of the prefrontal cortex in autism. This discovery suggests that a deficit of inhibition acting on pyramidal neurons may contribute to the cognitive phenotype of autism. This brings us a step closer to a fuller understanding of the cellular basis of autism and to the development of new therapeutic interventions. We also developed an autoimmune mouse model of autism based on prenatal exposure to maternal antibodies. In this animal model of autism, we have shown that the anatomy of the cerebral cortex is altered by the administration of human maternal auto-antibodies during prenatal development. We found that the prenatal exposure to maternal antibodies produces behavioral changes in offspring and increased the size of neurons in the cerebral cortex. Other significant contributions in our laboratory include the discovery of an iron metabolism deficit in FXTAS, and the fact that FTXAS pathology develops in early adulthood, not late in life as previously thought.

Cortical evolution has long been one of Dr. Martínez Cerdeño’s dearest interests. Our research in cortical evolution has focused on the transition from three-layered lissencephalic cortex to six-layered gyrencephalic cortex, from both an evolutionary and a developmental perspective. One of our most notable contributions to this field was the introduction of the concept of a “two-step hypothesis of cortical evolution”. This hypothesis posits that the production of excitatory cortical neurons takes place trough a two-step process where radial glial cells produce IP cells, which then generate cortical neurons. We have provided evidence that this process evolved very early in the vertebrate brain, perhaps at the divergence of mammals and reptiles. Furthermore, we propose that this mechanism of cell generation is responsible for the expansion of the cerebral cortex that took place in mammalian evolution. Since formulating this hypothesis we have published multiple papers adding novel information that corroborate the role of the two-step process of neurogenesis in the evolution of the mammalian cerebral cortex. Our interest in cortical evolution led us to establish and organize the “Cortical Evolution 2015” Conference.

For more information please visit my websites at: Ventricular.Org


Noteworthy Publications:

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AUTHOR(s)
YEAR
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A The Number of Chandelier and Basket Cells Are Differentially Decreased in Prefrontal Cortex in Autism. Cerebral Cortex. In press. Ariza J, Rogers H, Monterrubio A, Hashemi E, Noctor SC, and Martínez-Cerdeño V. (2017) 2017
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Iron accumulation and dysregulation in the putamen in fragile X associated tremor/ataxia syndrome. Journal of Movement Disorders. In press. Ariza J, Rogers H, Hartvigsen A, Snell M, Dill M, Judd D, Hagerman P, Martínez-Cerdeño V. (2017) 2017
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First case of FMR1 premutation with Prader-Willi phenotype and FXTAS. Clinical Case Reports. In press. Martínez-Cerdeño V, Lechpammer M, Noctor SC, Ariza J, Hagerman P, Hagerman R (2017) 2017


Dendrite and spine modifications in autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders in patients and animal models. Dev. Neurobiology. July 8. Martínez-Cerdeño V. 2016
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The majority of Fragile X-Associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome (FTXAS) cases present with intranuclear inclusions within Purkinje cells. The Cerebellum. April 23. Ariza J, Rogers H, Monterrubio A, Reyes-Miranda A, Hagerman PJ, Martínez-Cerdeño V 2016
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Abnormal white matter tracts resembling pencil fibers involving prefrontal cortex (BA47) in autism: a case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports. In press. Hashemi E, Ariza J, Lechpammer M, Noctor S, Martínez-Cerdeño V 2016


Cerebellar Mild Iron Accumulation in a Subset of FMR1 Premutation Carriers with FXTAS. Cerebellum. Jun 4. Rogers H, Ariza J, Monterrubio A, Hagerman P, Martínez-Cerdeño V 2016
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The number of Parvalbumin-expressing interneurons is decreased in the prefrontal cortex in autism. Cerebral Cortex. Feb 27. Hashemi E, Ariza J, Rogers H, Noctor SC, and Martínez-Cerdeño V 2016
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Cortical Evolution 2015: Discussion on neural progenitor cell nomenclature. Journal of Comparative Neurology. Feb 15;524(3):704-9. Martínez-Cerdeño, V, Noctor, SC 2016
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Evolutionary origin of Tbr2-expressing precursor cells and the subventricular zone in the developing cortex. Journal of Comparative Neurology. Feb 15;524(3):433-47. Martínez-Cerdeño, V, Cunningham, C, Camacho, J, Keiter, J, Ariza, J, Lovern, M, Noctor, SC. 2016
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Prenatal exposure to autism-specific maternal autoantibodies alters proliferation of cortical neural precursor cells, enlarges brain, and increases neuronal size in adult animals. Cerebral Cortex. Martínez-Cerdeño V, Camacho J, Fox E, Miller E, Ariza J, Kienzle D, Plank K, Noctor S, and Van de Water J 2016
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Fragile X-Associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome in a Man in His 30s. JAMA Neurol. Sep 1;72(9):1070-3. Martínez-Cerdeño V, Lechpammer M, Lott A, Schneider A, Hagerman R 2015
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Preliminary findings suggest the number and volume of supragranular to infragranular pyramidal neurons are similar in the anterior superior temporal area of control subjects and subjects with autism. Neurosci Lett. Mar 4;589:98-103. Kim E, Camacho J, Combs Z, Ariza J, Lechpammer M, Noctor S, Martínez Cerdeño V 2015
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Calibrated forceps model of compression spinal cord injury. JoVE. Apr 24;(98).1. Clinton BK, Cunningham CL, Kriegstein AR, Noctor SC, and Martínez Cerdeño V (2014) Radial Glia are Proliferative in the Ventricular Zone of the Embryonic and Adult Turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans. Neurogenesis. 1:1, 1-13. McDonough A, Monterrubio AM, Ariza J, Martínez Cerdeño V 2015
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Dysregulated iron metabolism in the choroid plexus in fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome. Brain Research. Dec 8. Ariza J, Steward C, Rueckert F, Widdison M, Coffman R, Afjei A, Noctor S, Hagerman R, Hagerman, Martínez-Cerdeño V 2014
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Cajal, Retzius, and Cajal-Retzius cells. Frontiers in Neuroanat. 17; 8:48 Martínez Cerdeño V and Noctor SC 2014
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RELN-expressing neuron density in layer I of the superior temporal lobe is similar in human brains with autism and in age-matched controls. Neurosci Lett. 579:163-7. Camacho J, Ejaz E, Ariza J, Noctor SC, Martínez-Cerdeño V 2014
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Embryonic intraventricular exposure to autism-specific maternal autoantibodies produces alterations in autism-like stereotypical behaviors in offspring mice. Behavioural Brain Research. 266:46-51. Camacho J, Jones K, Miller E, Ariza J, Noctor SC, Van de Water J, Martínez Cerdeño V 2014
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