Amniotic fluid chemokines and autism spectrum disorders: An exploratory study utilizing a Danish Historic Birth Cohort
ABSTRACT Elevated levels of chemokines have been reported in plasma and brain tissue of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The aim of this study was to examine chemokine levels in amniotic fluid (AF) samples of individuals diagnosed with ASD and their controls.
A Danish Historic Birth Cohort (HBC) kept at Statens Serum Institute, Copenhagen was utilized. Using data from Danish nation-wide health registers, a case-control study design of 414 cases and 820 controls was adopted. Levels of MCP-1, MIP-1α and RANTES were analyzed using Luminex xMAP technology. Case-control differences were assessed as dichotomized at below the 10th percentile or above the 90th percentile cut-off points derived from the control biomarker distributions (logistic regression) or continuous measures (tobit regression).
AF volume for 331 cases and 698 controls was sufficient for Luminex analysis. Including all individuals in the cohort yielded no significant differences in chemokine levels in cases versus controls. Logistic regression analyses, performed on individuals diagnosed using ICD-10 only, showed increased risk for ASD with elevated MCP-1 (elevated 90th percentile adjusted OR: 2.32 [95% CI: 1.17-4.61]) compared to controls. An increased risk for infantile autism with elevated MCP-1 was also found (adjusted OR: 2.28 [95% CI: 1.16-4.48]). Elevated levels of MCP-1 may decipher an etiologic immunologic dysfunction or play rather an indirect role in the pathophysiology of ASD. Further studies to confirm its role and to identify the potential pathways through which MCP-1 may contribute to the development of ASD are necessary.
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ABSTRACT: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex disorder that appears to be caused by interactions between genetic changes and environmental insults during early development. A wide range of factors have been linked to the onset of ASD, but recently both genetic associations and environmental factors point to a central role for immune-related genes and immune responses to environmental stimuli. Specifically, many of the proteins encoded by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) play a vital role in the formation, refinement, maintenance, and plasticity of the brain. Manipulations of levels of MHC molecules have illustrated how disrupted MHC signaling can significantly alter brain connectivity and function. Thus, an emerging hypothesis in our field is that disruptions in MHC expression in the developing brain caused by mutations and/or immune dysregulation may contribute to the altered brain connectivity and function characteristic of ASD. This review provides an overview of the structure and function of the three classes of MHC molecules in the immune system, healthy brain, and their possible involvement in ASD. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol, 2012.Developmental Neurobiology 10/2012; 72(10):1288-301. DOI:10.1002/dneu.22046 · 4.19 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Epidemiological evidence has established links between immune activation during the prenatal or early postnatal period and increased risk of developing a range of neurodevelopment disorders in later life. Animal models have been used to great effect to explore the ramifications of immune activation during gestation and neonatal life. A range of behavioral, neurochemical, molecular, and structural outcome measures associated with schizophrenia, autism, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy have been assessed in models of prenatal and postnatal immune activation. However, the epidemiology-driven disease-first approach taken by some studies can be limiting and, despite the wealth of data, there is a lack of consensus in the literature as to the specific dose, timing, and nature of the immunogen that results in replicable and reproducible changes related to a single disease phenotype. In this review, we highlight a number of similarities and differences in models of prenatal and postnatal immune activation currently being used to investigate the origins of schizophrenia, autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and Parkinson's disease. However, we describe a lack of synthesis not only between but also within disease-specific models. Our inability to compare the equivalency dose of immunogen used is identified as a significant yet easily remedied problem. We ask whether early life exposure to infection should be described as a disease-specific or general vulnerability factor for neurodevelopmental disorders and discuss the implications that either classification has on the design, strengths and limitations offuture experiments. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol, 2012.Developmental Neurobiology 10/2012; 72(10):1335-48. DOI:10.1002/dneu.22043 · 4.19 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We analyzed data from case groups of 538 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and 163 with developmental delays (DD), and from 421 typically developing controls to assess associations with maternal influenza or fever during pregnancy. Exposure information was obtained by telephone interviews, and outcomes were clinically confirmed. Though neither ASD nor DD was associated with influenza, both were associated with maternal fever during pregnancy: OR's (odds ratios) were 2.12 (95 % CI 1.17, 3.84) and 2.50 (95 % CI 1.20, 5.20) respectively. However, the fever-associated ASD risk was attenuated among mothers who reported taking antipyretic medications (OR = 1.30, 95 % CI 0.59, 2.84), but remained elevated for those who did not (OR = 2.55, 95 % CI 1.30, 4.99).Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 05/2012; 43(1). DOI:10.1007/s10803-012-1540-x · 3.06 Impact Factor