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J Neuroimmunol. 2010 Oct 8;227(1-2):153-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2010.06.001. Epub 2010 Jun 23.

Antibodies against the voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) and its protective ligand hexokinase-I in children with autism.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


Autistic children show elevated serum levels of autoantibodies to several proteins essential for the function of normal brains. The voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) and hexokinase-I, a VDAC protective ligand, were identified as targets of this autoimmunity in autistic children. These autoantibodies were purified using immunoaffinity chromatographic techniques. Both antibodies induce apoptosis of cultured human neuroblastoma cells. Because VDAC and hexokinase-I are essential for brain protection from ischemic damage, the presence of these autoantibodies suggests a possible causal role in the neurologic pathogenesis of autism.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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