Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 10, pp 1934–1940 | Cite as

Hyperserotonemia in Adults with Autistic Disorder

  • Dubravka Hranilovic
  • Zorana Bujas-Petkovic
  • Renata Vragovic
  • Tomislav Vuk
  • Karlo Hock
  • Branimir Jernej
Original Paper


Hyperserotonemia is the most consistent serotonin-related finding in autism. The basis of this phenomenon, and its relationship to the central serotonergic dysfunction remains unclear. Platelet serotonin level (PSL) in 53 autistic adults and 45 healthy controls was measured. Mean PSL in autistic group (75.7 ± 37.4 ng/μL) was significantly higher than the control sample (59.2 ± 16.2 ng/μL) due to a presence of hyperserotonemic subjects which comprised 32% of the patients. PSL of autistic subjects did not correlate with the severity of symptoms, as measured by total CARS score, or the degree of mental retardation. However, significant negative relationship was observed between PSL and speech development, indicating the relationship between the peripheral 5HT concentrations and verbal abilities in autistic subjects.


Autism Hyperserotonemia Platelet serotonin level Speech development Verbal communication 



This study was supported by the Ministry of Science Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia. The authors wish to thank Mrs. Drina Bagaric, a medical laboratory engineer, for her skillful, kind, and gentle approach to the patients during blood sampling, and to Mrs. Katarina Karlo, a senior technician, for her assistance in PSL measurements.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dubravka Hranilovic
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zorana Bujas-Petkovic
    • 3
  • Renata Vragovic
    • 4
  • Tomislav Vuk
    • 5
  • Karlo Hock
    • 6
  • Branimir Jernej
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Department of Molecular BiologyRudjer Boskovic InstituteZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Psychiatric Hospital for Children and YouthZagrebCroatia
  4. 4.Center for autism ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  5. 5.Croatian Institute of Transfusion MedicineZagrebCroatia
  6. 6.Department of Molecular MedicineRudjer Boskovic InstituteZagrebCroatia

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