Altered vascular phenotype in autism: correlation with oxidative stress

Arch Neurol. 2006 Aug;63(8):1161-4. doi: 10.1001/archneur.63.8.1161.


Background: Autism is a neurologic disorder characterized by impaired communication and social interaction. Results of previous studies showed biochemical evidence for abnormal platelet reactivity and altered blood flow in children with autism.

Objective: To evaluate the vascular phenotype in children with autism.

Design and main outcome measures: Urinary levels of isoprostane F(2alpha)-VI, a marker of lipid peroxidation; 2,3-dinor-thromboxane B(2), which reflects platelet activation; and 6-keto-prostaglandin F(1alpha), a marker of endothelium activation, were measured by means of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in subjects with autism and healthy control subjects.

Setting and subjects: Children with a clinical diagnosis of autism attending the Pfeiffer Treatment Center.

Results: Compared with controls, children with autism had significantly higher urinary levels of isoprostane F(2alpha)-VI, 2,3-dinor-thromboxane B(2), and 6-keto-prostaglandin F(1alpha). Lipid peroxidation levels directly correlated with both vascular biomarker ratios.

Conclusion: Besides enhanced oxidative stress, platelet and vascular endothelium activation also could contribute to the development and clinical manifestations of autism.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / blood
  • Autistic Disorder / genetics*
  • Autistic Disorder / urine*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation / physiology
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Phenotype*
  • Platelet Activation / physiology


  • Biomarkers