Article

Aberrant NF-KappaB Expression in Autism Spectrum Condition: A Mechanism for Neuroinflammation

Bute Medical School, University of St. Andrews Fife, Scotland, UK.
Frontiers in Psychiatry 01/2011; 2(3):27. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2011.00027
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Autism spectrum condition (ASC) is recognized as having an inflammatory component. Post-mortem brain samples from patients with ASC display neuroglial activation and inflammatory markers in cerebrospinal fluid, although little is known about the underlying molecular mechanisms. Nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) is a protein found in almost all cell types and mediates regulation of immune response by inducing the expression of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, establishing a feedback mechanism that can produce chronic or excessive inflammation. This article describes immunodetection and immunofluorescence measurements of NF-κB in human post-mortem samples of orbitofrontal cortex tissue donated to two independent centers: London Brain Bank, Kings College London, UK (ASC: n = 3, controls: n = 4) and Autism Tissue Program, Harvard Brain Bank, USA (ASC: n = 6, controls: n = 5). The hypothesis was that concentrations of NF-κB would be elevated, especially in activated microglia in ASC, and pH would be concomitantly reduced (i.e., acidification). Neurons, astrocytes, and microglia all demonstrated increased extranuclear and nuclear translocated NF-κB p65 expression in brain tissue from ASC donors relative to samples from matched controls. These between-groups differences were increased in astrocytes and microglia relative to neurons, but particularly pronounced for highly mature microglia. Measurement of pH in homogenized samples demonstrated a 0.98-unit difference in means and a strong (F = 98.3; p = 0.00018) linear relationship to the expression of nuclear translocated NF-κB in mature microglia. Acridine orange staining localized pH reductions to lysosomal compartments. In summary, NF-κB is aberrantly expressed in orbitofrontal cortex in patients with ASC, as part of a putative molecular cascade leading to inflammation, especially of resident immune cells in brain regions associated with the behavioral and clinical symptoms of ASC.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Adam M H Young, Jul 06, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
141 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a heterogeneous group of disorders which have complex behavioural phenotypes. Although ASD is a highly heritable neuropsychiatric disorder, genetic research alone has not provided a profound understanding of the underlying causes. Recent developments using biochemical tools such as transcriptomics, proteomics and cellular models, will pave the way to gain new insights into the underlying pathological pathways. This review addresses the state-of-the-art in the search for molecular biomarkers for ASD. In particular, the most important findings in the biochemical field are highlighted and the need for establishing streamlined interaction between behavioural studies, genetics and proteomics is stressed. Eventually, these approaches will lead to suitable translational ASD models and, therefore, a better disease understanding which may facilitate novel drug discovery efforts in this challenging field.
    The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 11/2013; 17(04):1-23. DOI:10.1017/S146114571300117X · 5.26 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by impairment in social interaction, impairment in communication and lack of flexibility of thought and behavior. Acupuncture, which involves the use of needles or pressure to specific points on the body, is used widely in Traditional Chinese Medicine and increasingly within a western medical paradigm. It has sometimes been used as a treatment aimed at improving ASD symptoms and outcomes, but its clinical effectiveness and safety has not been rigorously reviewed. To determine the effectiveness of acupuncture for people with ASD in improving core autistic features, as well as communication, cognition, overall functioning and quality of life, and to establish if it has any adverse effects. We searched the following databases on 30 September 2010: CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library, 2010, Issue 3), MEDLINE (1950 to September 2010 Week 2), EMBASE (1980 to 2010 Week 38), PsycINFO, CINAHL, China Journal Full-text Database, China Master Theses Full-text Database, China Doctor Dissertation Full-text Database, China Proceedings of Conference Database, Index to Taiwan Periodical Literature System, metaRegister of Controlled Trials and the Chinese Clinical Trials Registry. We also searched AMED (26 February 2009) and Dissertation Abstracts International (3 March 2009), but these were no longer available to the authors or editorial base at the date of the most recent search. TCMLARS (Traditional Chinese Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System) was last searched on 3 March 2009. We included randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials. We included studies comparing an acupuncture group with at least one control group that used no treatment, placebo or sham acupuncture treatment in people with ASD. We excluded trials that compared different forms of acupuncture or compared acupuncture with another treatment. Two review authors independently extracted trial data and assessed the risk of bias in the trials. We used relative risk (RR) for dichotomous data and mean difference (MD) for continuous data. We included 10 trials that involved 390 children with ASD. The age range was three to 18 years and the treatment duration ranged from four weeks to nine months. The studies were carried out in Hong Kong, mainland China and Egypt.Two trials compared needle acupuncture with sham acupuncture and found no difference in the primary outcome of core autistic features (RFRLRS total score: MD 0.09; 95% CI -0.03 to 0.21, P = 0.16), although results suggested needle acupuncture might be associated with improvement in some aspects of the secondary outcomes of communication and linguistic ability, cognitive function and global functioning.Six trials compared needle acupuncture plus conventional treatment with conventional treatment alone. The trials used different primary outcome measures and most could not demonstrate effectiveness of acupuncture in improving core autistic features in general, though one trial reported patients in the acupuncture group were more likely to have improvement on the Autism Behavior Checklist (RR 1.53; 95% CI 1.09 to 2.16, P = 0.02) and had slightly better post-treatment total scores (MD -5.53; 95% CI -10.76 to -0.31, P = 0.04). There was no evidence that acupuncture was effective for the secondary outcome of communication and linguistic ability, though there seemed to be some benefit for the secondary outcomes of cognitive function and global functioning.Two trials compared acupressure plus conventional treatment with conventional treatment alone and did not report on the primary outcome. Individual study results suggested there may be some benefit from acupressure for certain aspects of the secondary outcomes of communication and linguistic ability, cognitive function and global functioning.Four trials reported some adverse effects, though there was little quantitative information, and at times both intervention and control groups experienced them. Adverse effects noted included bleeding, crying due to fear or pain, irritability, sleep disturbance and increased hyperactivity. None of the trials reported on quality of life.There are a number of problems with the evidence base: the trials were few in number and included only children; six of the trials were at high risk of bias; they were heterogeneous in terms of participants and intervention; they were of short duration and follow-up; they reported inconsistent and imprecise results, and, due to carrying out large numbers of analyses, they were at risk of false positivity. Current evidence does not support the use of acupuncture for treatment of ASD. There is no conclusive evidence that acupuncture is effective for treatment of ASD in children and no RCTs have been carried out with adults. Further high quality trials of larger size and longer follow-up are needed.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 01/2011; DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD007849.pub2 · 5.94 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Autoimmunity to brain may play a pathogenic role in autism. In autoimmune disorders, the formation of antigen-antibody complexes triggers an inflammatory response by inducing the infiltration of neutrophils. Local administration of recombinant progranulin, which is an anti-inflammatory neurotrophic factor, potently inhibit neutrophilic inflammation in vivo, demonstrating that progranulin represents a crucial inflammation-suppressing mediator. We are the first to measure plasma progranulin levels in autism. Plasma levels of progranulin were measured, by ELISA, in 40 autistic patients, aged between 3 and 12 years, and 40 healthy-matched children. Autistic children had significantly lower plasma progranulin levels, P = 0.001. Reduced plasma progranulin levels were found in 65% (26/40) of autistic children.On the other hand, there was a non significant difference between plasma progranulin levels of children with mild to moderate autism and patients with severe autism, P = 0.11. Plasma progranulin levels were reduced in a subgroup of patients with autism. Progranulin insufficiency in some patients with autism may result in many years of reduced neutrotrophic support together with cumulative damage in association with dysregulated inflammation that may have a role in autism. However, these data should be treated with caution until further investigations are performed, with a larger subject population, to determine whether the decrease of plasma progranulin levels is a mere consequence of autism or has a pathogenic role in the disease. The role of progranulin therapy should also be studied in autism.
    Journal of Neuroinflammation 09/2011; 8:111. DOI:10.1186/1742-2094-8-111 · 4.90 Impact Factor