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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2015;861:93-8. doi: 10.1007/5584_2015_145.

Inflammatory Activity in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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Department of Physiology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin, Comenius University in Bratislava, Mala Hora 4, 036 01, Martin, Slovakia.


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder in early childhood characterized by impairment in communication and behavior. Recent research is focused on the immune dysregulation as a potential pathomechanism leading to ASD. Thus, we addressed the hypothesis that inflammatory activity might be enhanced in children suffering from ASD. We examined 15 children with ASD (13 boys/2 girls, mean age of 9.3 ± 0.7 years) and 20 age/gender-matched healthy subjects as a control group. All children were medication free and in good health. Hematological parameters in venous blood and plasma levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines - tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 1ß (IL-1ß), and interleukin 8 (IL-8) - were assessed in each subject using human ultra-sensitive ELISA kits. In addition, TBARS as a marker of oxidative stress was evaluated. We found that the level of IL-8 was significantly increased in the ASD children, whereas the other markers remained unappreciably changed compared to controls (p = 0.003). In conclusion, the study demonstrates a discrete immune dysfunction in ASD of pro-inflammatory character.

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