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Pediatr Neurol. 1997 Jul;17(1):88-90.

Circulating autoantibodies to neuronal and glial filament proteins in autism.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-1065, USA.


Autoimmunity may be a pathogenic factor in autism, a behavioral disorder of early childhood onset. Circulating autoantibodies are produced in organ-specific autoimmunity; therefore, we investigated them in the plasma of autistic subjects, mentally retarded (MR) subjects, and healthy controls. Autoantibodies (IgG isotype) to neuron-axon filament protein (anti-NAFP) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (anti-GFAP) were analyzed by the Western immunoblotting technique. We found a significant increase in incidence of anti-NAFP (P = .004) and anti-GFAP (P = .002) in autistic subjects, but not in MR subjects. Clinically, these autoantibodies may be related to autoimmune pathology in autism.

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