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Free Radic Biol Med. 2019 Apr;134:666-677. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2019.02.009. Epub 2019 Feb 11.

Chronic exposure to xenobiotic pollution leads to significantly higher total glutathione and lower reduced to oxidized glutathione ratio in red blood cells of children with autism.

Author information

1
The Children's Institute, 1405 Shady Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15217, USA; Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Duquesne University, 600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15282, USA. Electronic address: fabers@duq.edu.
2
Thermo Fisher Scientific, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA. Electronic address: fahrenholzt@yahoo.com.
3
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Duquesne University, 600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15282, USA. Electronic address: Mesay.Wolle@fda.hhs.gov.
4
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Duquesne University, 600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15282, USA. Electronic address: kern@mathcs.duq.edu.
5
Applied Isotope Technologies, 2403 Sidney Street, Suite 280, Pittsburgh, PA, 15203, USA. Electronic address: matt@sidms.com.
6
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Duquesne University, 600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15282, USA. Electronic address: miller.logant@gmail.com.
7
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Duquesne University, 600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15282, USA. Electronic address: jamromj@duq.edu.
8
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Duquesne University, 600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15282, USA. Electronic address: Kingston@duq.edu.

Abstract

Analyses of reduced glutathione (GSH), oxidized glutathione (GSSG), and total glutathione (tGSH) in red blood cell samples from 30 children diagnosed with autism and 30 age, gender, and socioeconomic status matched controls were undertaken. The children's ages ranged from 2 to 9. Samples were obtained from subjects residing in Western Pennsylvania, an area of the United States greatly affected by high levels of mercury deposition and airborne PM 2.5 particulates. Liquid chromatography - mass spectrometry was utilized by following EPA Method 6800 for sample analyses. The children with autism had a significantly lower mean red blood cell (RBC) reduced to oxidized glutathione ratio (GSH/GSSG) compared to the control children (p = 0.025). In addition, compared to the controls, the children with autism had significantly higher RBC tGSH values (p = 0.0076) and GSH values (p = 0.022). These results suggest that exposure to toxic elements may prompt compensatory increases in production of GSH in children with autism in environments higher in toxins. The compensation did not fully correct the anti-oxidant properties of exposure to xenobiotics as demonstrated by the significantly lower GSH/GSSG in children with autism compared to controls. Out of a set of glutathione biomarkers, GSH/GSSG may best determine the degree of compensation for oxidative stress in children with autism.

KEYWORDS:

Autism; EPA method 6800; GSH; GSSG; Glutathione; IDMS; Oxidative stress; Quantitative mass spectrometry; SIDMS

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