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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 935608, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/935608
Research Article

Increased Anti-Phospholipid Antibodies in Autism Spectrum Disorders

1Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, Davis, USA
2MIND Institute, University of California, 2805 50th Street Sacramento, Davis, CA 95817, USA
3Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Davis, USA
4Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Epidemiology, University of California, Davis, USA
5Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, University of California, Davis, CA, USA

Received 17 June 2013; Accepted 14 July 2013

Academic Editor: Giuseppe Valacchi

Copyright © 2013 Milo Careaga et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by impairments in communication, social interactions, and repetitive behaviors. While the etiology of ASD is complex and likely involves the interplay of genetic and environmental factors, growing evidence suggests that immune dysfunction and the presence of autoimmune responses including autoantibodies may play a role in ASD. Anti-phospholipid antibodies are believed to occur from both genetic and environmental factors and have been linked to a number of neuropsychiatric symptoms such as cognitive impairments, anxiety, and repetitive behaviors. In the current study, we investigated whether there were elevated levels of anti-phospholipid antibodies in a cross-sectional analysis of plasma of young children with ASD compared to age-matched typically developing (TD) controls and children with developmental delays (DD) other than ASD. We found that levels of anti-cardiolipin, β2-glycoprotein 1, and anti-phosphoserine antibodies were elevated in children with ASD compared with age-matched TD and DD controls. Further, the increase in antibody levels was associated with more impaired behaviors reported by parents. This study provides the first evidence for elevated production of anti-phospholipid antibodies in young children with ASD and provides a unique avenue for future research into determining possible pathogenic mechanisms that may underlie some cases of ASD.