Original Article

Neurotoxicity Research

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 491-501

Altered Cytokine and BDNF Levels in Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • S. RicciAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, Histology, Legal Medicine and Orthopaedics, Sapienza University Email author 
  • , R. BusinaroAffiliated withDepartment of Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University
  • , F. IppolitiAffiliated withDepartment of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University
  • , V. R. Lo VascoAffiliated withDepartment Organi di Senso, Sapienza University
  • , F. MassoniAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, Histology, Legal Medicine and Orthopaedics, Sapienza University
  • , E. OnofriAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, Histology, Legal Medicine and Orthopaedics, Sapienza University
  • , G. M. TroiliAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, Histology, Legal Medicine and Orthopaedics, Sapienza University
  • , V. PontecorviAffiliated withDepartment of Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University
  • , M. MorelliAffiliated withDepartment of Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University
    • , M. Rapp RicciardiAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of GothenburgDepartment of Psychology, Education and Sports Science, Linnea University
    • , T. ArcherAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of GothenburgDepartment of Psychology, Education and Sports Science, Linnea University

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Abstract

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.

Keywords

Autism Immune system Cytokines Handicap Immunoexcitotoxicity