, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 491-501
Date: 19 Apr 2013

Altered Cytokine and BDNF Levels in Autism Spectrum Disorder

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The contribution of neuroimmune functioning and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to functional dysregulation in autism spectrum disorder was assessed in 29 patients under treatment in two specialized centers of Basilicata (Chiaromonte and Matera), Southern Italy, through analysis of serum levels of cytokines and BDNF. Elevated levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine, including interleukin-1, interleukin-6, interleukin-12, interleukin-23, tumor necrosis factor-α and BDNF were observed, regardless of age and gender. Comparisons were made with age- and gender-related healthy controls. The present findings reinforce current notions regarding immunoexcitotoxic mechanisms contributing to the pathophysiology of autistic disorder.