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Cerebellum. 2005;4(3):206-10.

Glial fibrillary acidic protein is elevated in superior frontal, parietal and cerebellar cortices of autistic subjects.

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Division of Neuroscience Research, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN, USA.


Autism is a debilitating neurodevelopmental disorder of early childhood with both genetic and environmental origins. Immune system dysregulation has been hypothesized to be involved in this disorder. We quantified levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and ss-actin in three areas of the brain, namely, area 9, area 40 and cerebellum, in age matched autistic and control postmortem specimen using SDS-PAGE and western blotting techniques. Significant elevations in levels of GFAP were observed in all three brain areas in autism. This report confirms a recent report showing microglial and astroglial activation in autism. Increased GFAP levels in autistic brains signify gliosis, reactive injury, and perturbed neuronal migration processes.

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