Navigation Links
Autism may be linked to abnormal immune system characteristics and novel protein fragment
Date:1/3/2012

Tampa, FL (Jan 3, 2012) Immune system abnormalities that mimic those seen with autism spectrum disorders have been linked to the amyloid precursor protein (APP), reports a research team from the University of South Florida's Department of Psychiatry and the Silver Child Development Center.

The study, conducted with mouse models of autism, suggests that elevated levels of an APP fragment circulating in the blood could explain the aberrations in immune cell populations and function both observed in some autism patients. The findings were recently published online in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

The USF researchers concluded that the protein fragment might be both a biomarker for autism and a new research target for understanding the physiology of the disorder.

"Autism affects one in 110 children in the United States today," said research team leader Jun Tan, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry and the Robert A. Silver Chair, Rashid Laboratory for Developmental Neurobiology at USF's Silver Child Development Center. "While there are reports of abnormal T-cell numbers and function in some persons affected with autism, no specific cause has been identified. The disorder is diagnosed by behavioral observation and to date no associated biomarkers have been identified."

"Not only are there no associated biomarkers, but the prognosis for autism is poor and the costs associated with care are climbing," said Francisco Fernandez, MD, department chair and head of the Silver Center. "The work of Dr. Tan and his team is a start that may lead to earlier diagnosis and more effective treatments."

The amyloid precursor protein is typically the focus of research related to Alzheimer's disease. However, recent scientific reports have identified elevated levels of the particular protein fragment, called, sAPP-α, in the blood of autistic children. The fragment is a well-known growth factor for nerves, and studies imply that it plays a role in T-cell immune responses as well.

To study the autism-related effects of this protein fragment on postnatal neurodevelopment and behavior, Dr. Tan and his team inserted the human DNA sequence coding for the sAPP-α fragment into the genome of a mouse model for autism. While the studies are ongoing, the researchers documented the protein fragment's effects on the immune system of the test mice.

"We used molecular biology and immunohistochemistry techniques to characterize T-cell development in the thymus and also function in the spleen of the test animals," Dr. Tan said. "Then we compared transgenic mice to their wild-type littermates."

The researchers found that increased levels of sAPP-α in the transgenic mice led to increased cytotoxic T-cell numbers. The investigators also discovered subsequent impairment in the recall function of memory T-cells in the test mice, suggesting that the adaptive immune response is negatively affected in the presence of high levels of the protein fragment.

"Our work suggests that the negative effects of elevated sAPP-α on the adaptive immune system is a novel mechanism underlying certain forms of autism," concluded Dr. Tan, who holds the Silver Chair in Developmental Neurobiology. "The findings also add support to the role of sAPP-α in the T-cell response."


'/>"/>

Contact: Anne DeLotto Baier
abaier@health.usf.edu
813-974-3303
University of South Florida (USF Health)
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Neurons grown from skin cells may hold clues to autism
2. Diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders vary widely across clinics
3. UMMS researchers identify epigenetic signatures of autism
4. New findings validate the accuracy of autism diagnosis in children with Down syndrome
5. Study finds promising drug treatment for improving language, social function in people with autism
6. Children with autism benefit from early, intensive therapy
7. Study finds pregnancy and birth environment may affect development of autism in twins
8. Weatherstone Fellows publish research as Autism Speaks announces 2011 Weatherstone Fellows
9. Research reveals effectiveness of seizure treatments for children with autism
10. Therapies to improve biochemical functions hold promise as treatments for autism
11. Women who start prenatal vitamins early are less likely to have children with autism
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Autism may be linked to abnormal immune system characteristics and novel protein fragment
(Date:1/25/2016)... 2016   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ) today ... (JFK) International Airport, New York City , to ... attempting to enter the United States using ... pilot testing of the system at Dulles last year. ... JFK during January 2016. --> pilot testing of ...
(Date:1/20/2016)... 20, 2016 A market that just keeps ... from the explosion in genomics knowledge. Learn all about ... A range of dynamic trends are pushing market growth ... medicine - pharmacogenomics - pathogen evolution - next generation ... - greater understanding of the role of genetic material ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... , January 13, 2016 ... published a new market report titled - Biometric Sensors Market ... Forecast, 2015 - 2023. According to the report, the global biometric ... is anticipated to reach US$1,625.8 mn by 2023, expanding ... In terms of volume, the biometric sensors market is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... and triple quad LC-MS, host live demos and poster sessions, and present on ... exhibition. The conference takes place March 6 to 10 at the Georgia World ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016  CytoSorbents Corporation (NASDAQ: CTSO ), ... CytoSorb® blood filter to treat deadly inflammation in ... announced that CEO Dr. Phillip Chan , ... Group,s 2016 Disruptive Growth & Healthcare Conference, providing ... Conference Presentation Details: Where: Convene Conference ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 4, 2016 ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... and commercialization of targeted antiviral therapies, announced today that ... 2016, to be held February 8-9, 2016, at the ... Disruptive Growth & Healthcare Conference, taking place in ... James Sapirstein , Chief Executive Officer of ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... Franz ... Semantic Graph Database technology has been recognized As “ Best in Semantic Web ... Magazine. , “At Corporate America, it’s our priority to showcase prominent professionals who ...
Breaking Biology Technology: