Associations between C4 deficiency and autoimmune disorders have been found over the past several years. Since autism has several autoimmune features, the frequencies of null (no protein produced) alleles at the C4A and C4B loci were studied in 19 subjects with autism and their family members. The autistic subjects and their mothers had significantly increased phenotypic frequencies of the C4B null allele (58% in both the autistic subjects and mothers, compared with 27% in control subjects). The siblings of the autistic subjects also had an increased frequency of the C4B null allele, but this increase was not significant. The fathers had normal frequencies of this null allele. All family members had normal frequencies of the C4A null allele, all normal C4A and C4B alleles and all BF and C2 alleles.
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"Furthermore, strong association of the complement C4B null allele in HLA class III region with autism has been reported in several studies . They demonstrated a significant increase in the C4B null allele in autistic children compared to controls505152. Moreover, Mostafa et al. reported an increased risk of autism in the families with autoimmune disorders . "
"The A * 02-B * 44 haplotype is part of the larger B44-SC30-DR4 extended haplotype, which is more frequent in autistic children than in controls [14, 20]. This extended haplotype also contains two genetic loci previously shown to be associated with autism, the C4B null allele, and HLA-DR4 [15, 21, 39]. In class II, we found a positive association between DRB1 * 11 allele and autism, similar to the findings of a study from Egypt . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Earlier reports showed the relationship between autism and immune genes located in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA). In this current study, we compared the HLA class I and class II alleles and haplotypes in 35 autistic children with 100 control subjects from Saudi Arabia, using PCR-SSP method and Luminex technology. In class I the HLA-A*01 (P = 0.03, OR 2.68), A*02 (P = 0.001, OR 3.02) and HLA-B*07 (P = 0.01, OR 3.27), were significantly associated with autism. Also, the haplotype A*02-B*07 was significantly higher in autistic patients than in controls (P = 0.007, OR 5.83). In class II, DRB1*1104 was significantly higher in patients than in controls (P = 0.001, OR 8.75). The DQB1*0202 (P = 0.001,
OR 0.24), DQB1*0302 (P = 0.001,
OR 0.14), and DQB1*0501 (P = 0.012, OR 0.25), were negatively associated with disease. While the four-loci genotype study showed that A*01-B*07-DRB1*0701-DQB1*0602 (P = 0.001, OR 41.9) and the A*31-B*51-DRB1*0103-DQB1*0302 (P = 0.012, OR 4.8) are positively associated with autism among Saudi patients. This is the first report on a foreseeable risk of association of HLA-B*07 allele with autism. Thus, HLA-B*07 allele and the closely linked haplotype A*01 B*07 DRB1*0701 DQB1*0602 may serve as a marker for genetic susceptibility to autism in Saudis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of heterogeneous neurodevelopmental conditions presenting in early childhood with a prevalence ranging from 0.7% to 2.64%. Social interaction and communication skills are impaired and children often present with unusual repetitive behavior. The condition persists for life with major implications for the individual, the family and the entire health care system. While the etiology of ASD remains unknown, various clues suggest a possible association with altered immune responses and ASD. Inflammation in the brain and CNS has been reported by several groups with notable microglia activation and increased cytokine production in postmortem brain specimens of young and old individuals with ASD. Moreover several laboratories have isolated distinctive brain and CNS reactive antibodies from individuals with ASD. Large population based epidemiological studies have established a correlation between ASD and a family history of autoimmune diseases, associations with MHC complex haplotypes, and abnormal levels of various inflammatory cytokines and immunological markers in the blood. In addition, there is evidence that antibodies that are only present in some mothers of children with ASD bind to fetal brain proteins and may be a marker or risk factor for ASD. Studies involving the injection of these ASD specific maternal serum antibodies into pregnant mice during gestation, or gestational exposure of Rhesus monkeys to IgG subclass of these antibodies, have consistently elicited behavioral changes in offspring that have relevance to ASD. We will summarize the various types of studies associating ASD with the immune system, critically evaluate the quality of these studies, and attempt to integrate them in a way that clarifies the areas of immune and autoimmune phenomena in ASD research that will be important indicators for future research.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Journal of Autoimmunity