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:2/10/2017)... Feb 10, 2017 Research and ... "Personalized Medicine - Scientific and Commercial Aspects" to ... ... Diagnosis is integrated with therapy for selection of treatment as ... detection and prevention of disease in modern medicine. Biochip/microarray technologies ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... YORK , Feb. 8, 2017 About ... individual,s voice to match it against a stored ... such as pitch, cadence, and tone are compared ... require minimal hardware installation, as most PCs already ... for different transactions. Voice recognition biometrics are most ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... Report Highlights ... The global synthetic-biology market reached nearly $3.9 billion in ... a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.0% through 2021. ... for synthetic biology. - Analyses of global market trends, with ... annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2021. - Coverage of core ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... AxioMed president, Jake Lubinski, describes ... characteristics when deformed, which is identical to how the human discs work to ... and return to its natural state along a hysteresis curve, exactly like a ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... -- GlobeImmune, Inc. today announced it has entered into a ... of its common stock to NantCell, Inc., a member ... sale of its common stock, NantCell has agreed to ... 200,000 shares, an estimated $2.0 million in value, of ... to enter into this strategic agreement with NantCell," said ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... York , March 23, 2017 According ... plasma products and derivatives market is fragmented due to the presence of ... such as Proliant, Thermo Fisher , and Sigma-Aldrich, compete with ... these three companies, collectively, held more than 76% of this market ... As ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... Researchers face a ... lab samples to full-size tissues, bones, even whole organs to implant in people ... delivers blood deep into the developing tissue. , Current bioengineering techniques, including ...
Breaking Biology Technology: