Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 189–197

Immune abnormalities in patients with autism


  • Reed P. Warren
    • Utah State University
  • Nadine C. Margaretten
    • Utah State University
  • Nancy C. Pace
    • Utah State University
  • Ann Foster
    • Primary Children's Medical Center

DOI: 10.1007/BF01531729

Cite this article as:
Warren, R.P., Margaretten, N.C., Pace, N.C. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (1986) 16: 189. doi:10.1007/BF01531729


We have begun an investigation on the immune systems of patients with autism in attempt to determine if immune mechanisms are involved in the development of this severe developmental disorder. A study of 31 autistic patients has revealed several immune-system abnormalities, including reduced responsiveness in the lymphocyte blastogenesis assay to phytohemagglutinin, concanavalin A, and pokeweed mitogen; decreased numbers of T lymphocytes; and an altered ratio of helper to suppressor T cells. Immune-system abnormalities may be directly related to underlying biologic processes of autism, or these changes may be an indirect reflection of the actual pathologic mechanism.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986