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Autism Res Treat. 2012;2012:205362. doi: 10.1155/2012/205362. Epub 2012 Mar 5.

Decreased levels of EGF in plasma of children with autism spectrum disorder.

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  • 1Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, Davis, USA.

Abstract

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder estimated to affect 1 in 110 children in the U.S., yet the pathology of this disorder is not fully understood. Abnormal levels of several growth factors have been demonstrated in adults with ASD, including epidermal growth factor (EGF) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). Both of these growth factors serve important roles in neurodevelopment and immune function. In this study, concentrations of EGF and HGF were assessed in the plasma of 49 children with ASD aged 2-4 years old and 31 typically developing controls of a similar age as part of the Autism Phenome Project (APP). Levels of EGF were significantly reduced in the ASD group compared to typically developing controls (P = 0.003). There were no significant differences in HGF levels in young children with ASD and typically developing controls. EGF plays an important role in regulating neural growth, proliferation, differentiation and migration, and reduced levels of this molecule may negatively impact neurodevelopment in young children with ASD.

PMID:
22937258
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3420731
Free PMC Article

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