Navigation Links
Does the brain become unglued in autism?
Date:12/11/2012

Philadelphia, PA, December 11, 2012 A new study published in Biological Psychiatry suggests that autism is associated with reductions in the level of cellular adhesion molecules in the blood, where they play a role in immune function.

Cell adhesion molecules are the glue that binds cells together in the body. Deficits in adhesion molecules would be expected to compromise processes at the interfaces between cells, influencing tissue integrity and cell-to-cell signaling. In the brain, deficits in adhesion molecules could compromise brain development and communication between nerve cells.

Over the years, deficits in neural cell adhesion molecules have been implicated in schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. One adhesion molecule, neurexin, is strongly implicated in the heritable risk for autism.

Cell adhesion molecules also play a crucial role in regulating immune cell access to the central nervous system. Prior research provided evidence of immune system dysfunction in individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This led scientists from the University of California, Davis to examine whether adhesion molecules are altered in children with ASD.

To conduct the study, they recruited 2-4 year old children, 49 of whom were diagnosed with an ASD and 31 of whom were typically developing. They measured blood plasma levels of multiple molecules, conducted behavioral assessments, and measured head circumference in all participants.

"For the first time, we show that levels of soluble sPECAM-1 and sP-selectin, two molecules that mediate leukocyte migration, are significantly decreased in young children with ASD compared with typically developing controls of the same age," explained the authors. "This finding is consistent with previous reports of decreased levels of both sPECAM-1 and sP-selectin in adults with high-functioning autism."

They also found that repetitive behavior scores and sPECAM-1 levels were associated in children with ASD. Repetitive, stereotyped behaviors are a typical feature of ASD and these data suggest a potential relationship between molecule levels and the severity of repetitive behaviors.

Finally, they also discovered that head circumference was associated with increased sPECAM-1 levels in the typically developing children, but not in the children with ASD. This indicates that perhaps sPECAM-1 plays a role in normal brain growth, as larger head circumference is a known feature of individuals with autism.

"The report of reductions in adhesion molecules in blood in autism is interesting in light of recent genetic findings. However, the importance of these measurements remains somewhat uncertain," commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. "Our field continues to look for blood tests that might inform the diagnostic and treatment process."


'/>"/>

Contact: Rhiannon Bugno
Biol.Psych@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-0880
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. How the common cat parasite gets into the brain
2. Research shows immune system response is detrimental to novel brain cancer therapy
3. Musical duets lock brains as well as rhythms
4. Double duty: Immune system regulator found to protect brain from effects of stroke
5. University of Maryland School of Medicine, NIH study pinpoints brain areas role in learning
6. Multiple sclerosis immune exchange between brain and blood is uncovered
7. A 3-D light switch for the brain
8. Neurons made from stem cells drive brain activity after transplantation in laboratory model
9. Brain waves make waves
10. New brain gene gives us edge over apes, study suggests
11. Watching the developing brain, scientists glean clues on neurological disorder
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/7/2016)... Avanade is helping Williams Martini Racing, one of ... biometric data in order to critically analyse every aspect ... against their rivals after their impressive, record-breaking pit stop ... with Williams during the 2016 season to capture and ... rate, temperature and peak acceleration) for key members of ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... WASHINGTON , Dec. 5, 2016  The ... (NIJ), today published "Can CT Scans Enhance or ... examines the potential of supporting or replacing forensic ... a CT scan. In response to ... NIJ is exploring using CT scans as a ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... , Nov. 29, 2016 BioDirection, a ... point-of-care products for the objective detection of concussion and ... company has successfully completed a meeting with the U.S. ... Tbit™ blood test Pre-Submission Package. During the meeting company ... system as a precursor to commencement of a planned ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Lajollacooks4u, San Diego’s premier team building ... team building events, new program offerings and company expansion. , This is ... to include groups of over 30 people. Ever since, Lajollacooks4u has seen significant demand ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... of innovation is taking over sports. On Thursday, December 15th a panel of ... is disrupting the playing field at a Smart Talk session. Smart Talk will ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Biotheranostics today announced ... role of the Breast Cancer Index (BCI) in ... cancer are most at-risk for disease recurrence and ... results from three studies advancing the understanding of ... to tumor biology and inform decisions related to ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Iowa , Dec. 8, 2016 Eurofins announces the ... Food and President of Eurofins Scientific Inc. (ESI). ... with his proven professional and entrepreneurial experience in leading international business ... the US food testing market to uphold Eurofins, status as the ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: