Navigation Links
Autism's origins: Mother's antibody production may affect fetal brain
Date:2/25/2008

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
epeshev1@jhmi.edu
410-516-4996
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... According to an article ... to account for a significant portion of hernia repairs throughout the United States. Commenting ... Hills Hernia Center notes that this trend has not only been expected, but it ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... The Lymphoma Research ... lymphoma research and serving the lymphoma community through a comprehensive series of education ... Florida’s philanthropic community at its 10th anniversary Fashion Luncheon on Monday, February 8, ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... As a former television ... a demanding job, and no time to decompress, Rabinowitz found herself drawn to a ... meditation for its impact on her life, implementing a 20-minute-per-day meditation practice with her ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Itopia, a leader in cloud services automation ... Platform (CIP) into Cielo®, a discovery, migration and cloud orchestration engine. This integration ... and medium business (SMB) clients. , In recent years, BI and ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... ... The Jones Agency, a family owned insurance company with offices serving Arlington, ... drive with the Tarrant Area Food Bank in the hopes of alleviating hunger for ... the Tarrant County Food Bank offers hope and security to the one in six ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... North Carolina , 12 februari 2016 ... Inc. (AAI/CML), een toonaangevende leverancier van productie ... en biotechnologische industrieën, kondigt vandaag een uitbreiding ... mogelijkheden op haar locatie in ... vraag heeft geleid tot meerdere recente investeringen. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... The primary goal of this research is to analyze ... of liquid biopsy. Key information the survey seeks to ... liquid biopsy adoption amidst future users - Predominantly used ... Sample inflow to conduct liquid biopsy tests - Preference ... on. - Correlation analysis of sample type and biomarker ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 2016  Walgreens has committed to provide drug disposal ... Washington, D.C. as part of a program ... by shareholder advocacy organization As You Sow. Conrad ... people hold on to unneeded drugs because they lack easily ... --> Conrad MacKerron , Senior Vice President ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: