Abnormal measles-mumps-rubella antibodies and CNS autoimmunity in children with autism
- 173 Downloads
Autoimmunity to the central nervous system (CNS), especially to myelin basic protein (MBP), may play a causal role in autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder. Because many autistic children harbor elevated levels of measles antibodies, we conducted a serological study of measlesmumps-rubella (MMR) and MBP autoantibodies. Using serum samples of 125 autistic children and 92 control children, antibodies were assayed by ELISA or immunoblotting methods. ELISA analysis showed a significant increase in the level of MMR antibodies in autistic children. Immunoblotting analysis revealed the presence of an unusual MMR antibody in 75 of 125 (60%) autistic sera but not in control sera. This antibody specifically detected a protein of 73–75 kD of MMR. This protein band, as analyzed with monoclonal antibodies, was immuno-positive for measles hemagglutinin (HA) protein but not for measles nucleoprotein and rubella or mumps viral proteins. Thus the MMR antibody in autistic sera detected measles HA protein, which is unique to the measles subunit of the vaccine. Furthermore, over 90% of MMR antibody-positive autistic sera were also positive for MBP autoantibodies, suggesting a strong association between MMR and CNS autoimmunity in autism. Stemming from this evidence, we suggest that an inappropriate antibody response to MMR, specifically the measles component thereof, might be related to pathogenesis of autism.
Key WordsAutoantibodies Autism Autoimmunity Measles virus Measles-mumps-rubella antibodies Vaccines
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Buttram HE. Vaccine scene 2000 — Review and update. Med Sentinel 5:49–52;2000.Google Scholar
- 8.Ivarsson A, Bjerre I, Vegfors P, Ashfors K. Autism as one of several disabilities in two children with congenital cytomegalovirus infection. Neuropediatrics 21:102–103;1989.Google Scholar
- 10.Menage P, Thibault G, Barthelemy C, Lelord G, Bardos P. CD+ CD45RA+ T lymphocyte deficiency in autistic children: Effect of a pyridoxine-magnesium treatment. Brain Dysfunct 5:326–333;1992.Google Scholar
- 15.Singh VK. Neuro-immunopathogenesis in autism. In: Berczi I, Gorczynski R, eds. Neuroimmune Biology: New Foundation of Biology. New York, Elsevier Science BV, 447–458; 2001.Google Scholar
- 16.Singh VK, Warren RP, Cole P, Odell JD. Abnormalities of interleukin-2 production and levels of IgG isotypes in autistic patients (abstract 1569). FASEB J 3:A496;1989.Google Scholar
- 22.Wakefield AJ, Murch SH, Anthony A, Linnell J, Casson DM, Malik M, Berelowitz M, Dhillon AP, Thompson MA, Harvey P, Valentine A, Davies SE, Walker-Smith JA. Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children. Lancet 351:637–641;1998.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar