Navigation Links
Autism's origins: Mother's antibody production may affect fetal brain

The mothers of some autistic children may have made antibodies against their fetuses brain tissue during pregnancy that crossed the placenta and caused changes that led to autism, suggests research led by Johns Hopkins Childrens Center investigators and published in the February issue of the Journal of Neuroimmunology.

The causes of autism, a disorder manifesting itself with a range of brain problems and marked by impaired social interactions, communication disorders and repetitive behaviors, remain unknown for an estimated 90 percent of children diagnosed with it. Genetic, metabolic and environmental factors have been implicated in various studies of autism, a disorder affecting 1 in 150 U.S. children, according to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Now our research suggests that the mothers immune system may be yet another factor or a trigger in those already predisposed, says lead investigator Harvey Singer, M.D., director of pediatric neurology at Hopkins Childrens.

Researchers caution that the findings neednt be cause for alarm, but should be viewed instead as a step forward in untangling the complex nature of autism.

Mostly anecdotal past evidence of immune system involvement has emerged from unusual antibody levels in some autistic children and from postmortem brain tissue studies showing immune abnormalities in areas of the brain. Antibodies are proteins the body makes in response to viruses and bacteria or sometimes mistakenly against its own tissues. Yet, the majority of children with autism have no clinical evidence of autoimmune diseases, which prompted researchers to wonder whether the antibodies transferred from mother to child during pregnancy could interfere with the fetal brain directly.

To test their hypothesis, the research team used a technique called immunoblotting (or Western blot technology), in which antibodies derived from blood samples are exposed to adult and fetal brain tissue to check whether the antibodies recognize and react against specific brain proteins.

Comparing the antibody-brain interaction in samples obtained from 100 mothers of autistic children and 100 mothers of children without autism, researchers found either stronger reactivity or more areas of reactivity between antibodies and brain proteins in about 40 percent of the samples obtained from the mothers of autistic children. Further, the presence of maternal antibodies was associated with so-called developmental regression in children, increasingly immature behaviors that are a hallmark of autism.

While the findings suggest an association between autism and the presence of fetal brain antibodies, the investigators say further studies are needed to confirm that particular antibodies do indeed cross the placenta and cause damage to the fetal brain.

The mere fact that a pregnant woman has antibodies against the fetal brain doesnt mean she will have an autistic child, Singer says. Autism is a complex condition and one that is likely caused by the interplay of immune, genetic and environmental factors.

Researchers are also studying the effect of maternal antibodies in pregnant mice. Preliminary results show that the offspring of mice injected with brain antibodies exhibit developmental and social behaviors consistent with autism.


Contact: Ekaterina Pesheva
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Related medicine news :

1. Some cases of autism may be traced to the immune system of mothers during pregnancy
2. Mothers and Youth Sports Nationwide Push for FabricAide in Response to MRSA Threat
3. Mothers stress may increase childrens asthma
4. Smoking and depression often co-occur in new mothers
5. HIV drug resistance risk in mothers reduced by combination of common drugs
6. Overweight mothers run greater risk of having hyperactive children
7. Hip size of mothers linked to breast cancer in daughters
8. Mothers Know Best: NFL Moms Team With Eddie George to Showcase a Better Way to a Healthier Lifestyle
9. FDA Warns of Codeine Risk for Some Nursing Mothers
10. Vaccine/antibody therapy effective, milder side effects in melanoma and ovarian cancer
11. EUSA Pharma Out-Licenses Preclinical-Stage Human Antibody to GlaxoSmithKline for up to $44 Million Plus Royalties
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... In response to recent news highlighting Oxycodone fraud, Novus Medical Detox ... United States grew 400 percent between 1999 and 2010, far more than the combined ... of all fatal drug overdoses. (1) , While oxycodone and the extended release form ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... AL (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... American ... announced today the opening of a holiday pop-up clinic located in Metro Atlanta’s North ... needs in a new and different way. The location is scheduled to operate through ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Cold Shoulder , LLC launched their Pro Vest, the ... and hit their goal of $20,000 in under 10 hours. , The ... new PRO Weight Loss Vest to the market. , The PRO Vest provides consumers with ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Sir ... customer service: the TrustDale certification. The award recognizes good companies for excellence in ... , tile and grout, and hard surface restoration company earned this recognition after ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... Dr. Kevin Day, local family chiropractor in Warsaw ... this holiday season. During the Indiana winter months, Vitamin D deficiency can lead ... at AlignLife want to help provide the tools needed to combat it this year! ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Array BioPharma Inc. ... Chief Executive Officer, Ron Squarer , will ... in New York.  The public is welcome to ... the Array BioPharma website.Event:Piper Jaffray Annual Healthcare ConferencePresenter:  ... December 2, 2015Time:1:30 p.m. Eastern Time Webcast: ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... and VANCOUVER, Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - ESSA Pharma ... EPIX ) announced today that the first patient has ... EPI-506 as a treatment for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer ... and Canada.  --> the United ... In the Phase 1/2 clinical trial, ESSA intends to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... New York , 24. November 2015 ... des Avery Breathing Pacemaker Systems, ist erfreut, ... als Clinical Consultant bekannt geben zu können. ...   --> Foto ... Stockholm (Schweden). Von 1984-1986 war ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: