Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who exhibit chronic gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and marked fluctuation of behavioral symptoms exhibit distinct innate immune abnormalities and transcriptional profiles of peripheral blood (PB) monocytes
Harumi Jyonouchia, Lee Genga, Deanna L. Streckb and Gokce A. Torunerb
Division of Allergy/Immunology and Infection Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-New Jersey Medical School (NJMS), 185 South Orange Ave, Newark, NJ, United States
Institute of Genomic Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-New Jersey Medical School (NJMS), 185 South Orange Ave, Newark, NJ, United States
Received 16 February 2011; revised 26 June 2011; accepted 6 July 2011. Available online 30 July 2011.
Innate/adaptive immune responses and transcript profiles of peripheral blood monocytes were studied in ASD children who exhibit fluctuating behavioral symptoms following infection and other immune insults (ASD/Inf, N = 30). The ASD/Inf children with persistent gastrointestinal symptoms (ASD/Inf + GI, N = 19), revealed less production of proinflammatory and counter-regulatory cytokines with stimuli of innate immunity and marked changes in transcript profiles of monocytes as compared to ASD/no-Inf (N = 28) and normal (N = 26) controls. This included a 4–5 fold up-regulation of chemokines (CCL2 and CCL7), consistent with the production of more CCL2 by ASD/Inf + GI cells. These results indicate dysregulated innate immune defense in the ASD/Inf + GI children, rendering them more vulnerable to common microbial infection/dysbiosis and possibly subsequent behavioral changes.