Maternal neuronal antibodies associated with autism and a language disorder

Ann Neurol. 2003 Apr;53(4):533-7. doi: 10.1002/ana.10557.


Neurodevelopmental disorders could be caused by maternal antibodies or other serum factors. We detected serum antibodies binding to rodent Purkinje cells and other neurons in a mother of three children: the first normal, the second with autism, and the third with a severe specific language disorder. We injected the serum (0.5-1.0 ml/day) into pregnant mice during gestation and found altered exploration and motor coordination and changes in cerebellar magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the mouse offspring, comparing with offspring of mice injected with sera from mothers of healthy children. This evidence supports a role for maternal antibodies in some forms of neurodevelopmental disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Autistic Disorder / immunology*
  • Child
  • Dyslexia / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Maternally-Acquired*
  • Immunoglobulin G / pharmacology
  • Immunoglobulin M / pharmacology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity
  • Postural Balance
  • Pregnancy
  • Purkinje Cells / immunology*


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M