Hyperserotoninemia and Altered Immunity in Autism

  • Nancy K. Burgess
  • Thayne L. Sweeten
  • William M. McMahon
  • Robert S. FujinamiEmail author
Original Paper


One of the most consistent biological findings in autism is elevated whole blood serotonin (5-HT) levels found in about 1/3 of cases. Immune abnormalities are also commonly observed in this disorder. Given 5-HT’s role as an immunomodulator, possible connections between 5-HT and immune abnormalities in autism are explored in this review. Areas of focus include hyperserotoninemia and cellular immune function, autoantibodies to 5-HT receptors, and 5-HT’s role in autoimmunity. Further research is needed to determine the interactions between neuropsychiatric and immune dysfunction in autism and related disorders.


Autism Hyperserotoninemia Immune response Serotonin 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy K. Burgess
    • 1
  • Thayne L. Sweeten
    • 1
  • William M. McMahon
    • 2
  • Robert S. Fujinami
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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