Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

SETD5, a gene linked to intellectual disability (ID) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a member of the SET-domain family and encodes a putative histone methyltransferase (HMT). To date, the mechanism by which SETD5 haploinsufficiency causes ASD/ID remains an unanswered question. Setd5 is the highly conserved mouse homolog, and although the Setd5 null mouse is embryonic lethal, the heterozygote is viable. Morphological tracing and multielectrode array was used on cultured cortical neurons. MRI was conducted of adult mouse brains and immunohistochemistry of juvenile mouse brains. RNA-Seq was used to investigate gene expression in the developing cortex. Behavioral assays were conducted on adult mice. Setd5+/- cortical neurons displayed significantly reduced synaptic density and neuritic outgrowth in vitro, with corresponding decreases in network activity and synchrony by electrophysiology. A specific subpopulation of fetal Setd5+/- cortical neurons showed altered gene expression of neurodevelopment-related genes. Setd5+/- animals manifested several autism-like behaviors, including hyperactivity, cognitive deficit, and altered social interactions. Anatomical differences were observed in Setd5+/- adult brains, accompanied by a deficit of deep-layer cortical neurons in the developing brain. Our data converge on a picture of abnormal neurodevelopment driven by Setd5 haploinsufficiency, consistent with a highly penetrant risk factor.

Original publication




Journal article


Transl Psychiatry

Publication Date





Animals, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Behavior, Animal, Brain, Female, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Haploinsufficiency, Heterozygote, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Methyltransferases, Mice, Mice, Knockout, Mutation, Neurons