Veronica Martinez Cerdeno, Ph.D.

 Veronica  Martinez Cerdeno, Ph.D.


  • Associate Professor
  • Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (Institute for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, Shriners Hospital for Children)


Stem Cells, Neurodevelopment, and Autism

Research Summary

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.

Selected Publications

1.     Martínez-Cerdeño V. (2016) Dendrite and spine modifications in autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders in patients and animal models. Dev. NeurobiologyJuly 8.

2.     Ariza J, Rogers H, Monterrubio A, Reyes-Miranda A, Hagerman PJ, Martínez-Cerdeño V (2016) The majority of Fragile X-Associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome (FTXAS) cases present with intranuclear inclusions within Purkinje cells. The Cerebellum. April 23.

3.     Hashemi E, Ariza J, Lechpammer M, Noctor S, Martínez-Cerdeño V (2016) Abnormal white matter tracts resembling pencil fibers involving prefrontal cortex (BA47) in autism: a case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports. In press.

4.     Rogers H, Ariza J, Monterrubio A, Hagerman P, Martínez-Cerdeño V (2016) Cerebellar Mild Iron Accumulation in a Subset of FMR1 Premutation Carriers with FXTAS. Cerebellum. Jun 4.

5.     Hashemi E, Ariza J, Rogers H, Noctor SC, and Martínez-Cerdeño V (2016) The number of Parvalbumin-expressing interneurons is decreased in the prefrontal cortex in autism. Cerebral Cortex. Feb 27.

6.     Lechpammer, M, Tran YP, Wintermark P, Martínez-Cerdeño V, Ahmed W, Berman RF, Jensen FE, Nudler E, Zagzag D. (2016) Upregulation of cystathione β-synthase and p70s6k/s6 in neonatal hypoxic ischemic brain injury. Brain Pathology. July 28.

7.     Martínez-Cerdeño, V, Noctor, SC (2016) Cortical Evolution 2015: Discussion on neural progenitor cell nomenclature. Journal of Comparative Neurology. Feb 15;524(3):704-9.

8.     Martínez-Cerdeño, V, Cunningham, C, Camacho, J, Keiter, J, Ariza, J, Lovern, M, Noctor, SC. (2016) 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.

9.     Kashima R, Roy S, Ascano M, Martínez-Cerdeño V, Ariza-Torres J, Kim S, Louie J, Lu Y, Leyton P, Bloch KD, Kornberg TB, Hagerman PJ, Hagerman R, Lagna G, Hata A.(2016) Augmented noncanonical BMP type II receptor signaling mediates the synaptic abnormality of fragile X syndrome. Sci Signal. 2016 Jun 7;9(431). 

10.  Martínez-Cerdeño V, Camacho J, Fox E, Miller E, Ariza J, Kienzle D, Plank K, Noctor S, and Van de Water J (printed 2016 (online 2014). 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. 

11.  Hall DA, Robertson E, Shelton AL, Losh MC, Mila M, Moreno EG, Gomez-Anson B, Martínez-Cerdeño V, Grigsby J, Lozano R, Hagerman R, Maria LS, Berry-Kravis E, O'Keefe JA. (2016) Update on the Clinical, Radiographic, and Neurobehavioral Manifestations in FXTAS and FMR1 Premutation Carriers. Cerebellum. Jun 10. 

12.  Lozano R, Martínez Cerdeño V, Hagerman R (2015) Advances in the understanding of the GABAergic neurobiology of FMR1 expanded alleles leading to targeted treatments for Fragile X spectrum disorders. Current Pharmaceutical Design. Vol. 21, No. 0. 

13.  Martínez-Cerdeño V, Lechpammer M, Lott A, Schneider A, Hagerman R  (2015) Fragile X-Associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome in a Man in His 30s. JAMA Neurol. Sep 1;72(9):1070-3.

14.  Kim E, Camacho J, Combs Z, Ariza J, Lechpammer M, Noctor S, Martínez Cerdeño V (2015) 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.

15.  McDonough A, Monterrubio AM, Ariza J, Martínez Cerdeño V (2015) Calibrated forceps model of compression spinal cord injury. JoVE. Apr 24;(98).

16.  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.

17.  Ariza J, Steward C, Rueckert F, Widdison M, Coffman R, Afjei A, Noctor S, Hagerman R, Hagerman, Martínez-Cerdeño V (2014) Dysregulated iron metabolism in the choroid plexus in fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome. Brain Research. Dec 8.  

18.  Martínez Cerdeño V and Noctor SC (2014) Cajal, Retzius, and Cajal-Retzius cells. Frontiers in Neuroanat. 17; 8:48.

19.  Camacho J, Ejaz E, Ariza J, Noctor SC, Martínez-Cerdeño V (2014) 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.

20.  Camacho J, Jones K, Miller E, Ariza J, Noctor SC, Van de Water J, Martínez Cerdeño V (2014) Embryonic intraventricular exposure to autism-specific maternal autoantibodies produces alterations in autism-like stereotypical behaviors in offspring mice.  Behavioural Brain Research. 266:46-51.



Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology