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J Pediatr. 2017 Sep;188:240-244. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.04.004. Epub 2017 May 11.

Increased Serum Zonulin Levels as an Intestinal Permeability Marker in Autistic Subjects.

Author information

1
Faculty of Medicine, Research and Training Hospital, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Ordu University, Ordu, Turkey. Electronic address: ermanesnafoglu@yahoo.com.tr.
2
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Physiology, Ordu University, Ordu, Turkey.
3
Faculty of Medicine, Research and Training Hospital, Department of Biochemistry, Ordu University, Ordu, Turkey.
4
Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Research and Training Hospital, Department of Pediatry, Ordu University, Ordu, Turkey.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the serum levels of zonulin, which regulates tight junctions between enterocytes and is a physiological modulator controlling intestinal permeability, in patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).

STUDY DESIGN:

Serum zonulin levels were determined in 32 patients with ASD and 33 healthy controls using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The severity of ASD symptoms was assessed with the Childhood Autism Rating Scale.

RESULTS:

Serum zonulin levels were significantly higher in the patients with ASD (122.3 ± 98.46 ng/mL) compared with the healthy controls (41.89 ± 45.83 ng/mL). There was a positive correlation between zonulin levels and Childhood Autism Rating Scale score when all subjects were assessed (r = 0.523; P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study suggests that zonulin, which regulates intestinal permeability, plays a role in the development of symptoms of ASD.

KEYWORDS:

GI-brain interaction; autism spectrum disorder; gastrointestinal system; intestinal permeability; tight junctions; zonulin

PMID:
28502607
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.04.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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