World Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 233–237 | Cite as

Serum proteomic profiling for autism using magnetic bead-assisted matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry: a pilot study

  • Yan-Ni ChenEmail author
  • Hui-Ying Du
  • Zhuo-Yue Shi
  • Li He
  • Yu-Ying He
  • Duan Wang
Original Article



The pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders remains elusive and currently there are no diagnostic or predictive biomarkers in autism available. Proteomic profiling has been used in a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorder studies, which could produce deeper perceptions of the molecular bases behind certain disease and potentially becomes useful in discovering biomarkers in autism spectrum disorders.


Serum samples were collected from autistic children about 3 years old in age (n = 32) and healthy controls (n = 20) in similar age and gender. The samples were identified specific proteins that are differentially expressed by magnetic bead-based pre-fractionation and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-ToF-MS).


Eight protein peaks were significantly different in autistic children from the healthy controls (P < 0.0001). The two peaks with the most significant differences were 6428 and 7758 Da in size.


According to differences in serum protein profiles between the autistic children and healthy controls, this study identified a set of differentially expressed proteins those are significant for further evaluation and might function as biomarkers in autism.


Autism Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry Proteomic profiling Weak cation-exchange chromatography magnetic beads 


Author contributions

YNC proposed the study and wrote the first draft. All authors contributed to the design and interpretation of the study and to further drafts. YNC is the guarantor.

Compliance with ethical standards


This study was supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China (81371900 and 81200845), The Province Natural Foundation of Shaanxi (2009JM4030) and The Province Science and Technology Research Projects of Shaanxi (2013SF2-009).

Ethical approval

This study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of Xi’an Children’s Hospital, Xi’an Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Xi’an, China, and all parents of the children enrolled in this study provided written informed consent. Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this case report and any accompanying images. A copy of the written consent is available for review by the Editor of this journal at the end.

Conflict of interest

No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from any commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.


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Copyright information

© Children's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yan-Ni Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hui-Ying Du
    • 1
  • Zhuo-Yue Shi
    • 2
  • Li He
    • 1
  • Yu-Ying He
    • 4
  • Duan Wang
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Health Care, Xi’an Children’s HospitalXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Department of Biology, College of Liberal Arts and ScienceThe University of IowaIowaUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsShaanxi University of Chinese MedicineXianyangChina
  4. 4.Xi’an Maternal and Child Health HospitalXi’anChina

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