Possible Immunological Disorders in Autism: Concomitant Autoimmunity and Immune Tolerance

Egypt J Immunol. 2006;13(1):99-104.

Abstract

Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that affect children early in their life. Immunological disorders is one of several contributing factors that have been suggested to cause autism. Thirty autistic children aged 3-6 years and thirty non-autistic psychologically-free siblings were studied. Circulating IgA and IgG autoantibodies to casein and gluten dietary proteins were detected by enzyme-immunoassays (EIA). Circulating IgG antibodies to measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (M.M.R) and cytomeglovirus were investigated by EIA. Results revealed high seropositivity for autoantibodies to casein and gluten: 83.3% and 50% respectively in autistic children as compared to 10% and 6.7% positivity in the control group. Surprisingly, circulating anti-measles, anti-mumps and anti-rubella IgG were positive in only 50%, 73.3% and 53.3% respectively as compared to 100% positivity in the control group. Anti-CMV IgG was positive in 43.3% of the autistic children as compared to 7% in the control group. It is concluded that, autoimmune response to dietary proteins and deficient immune response to measles, mumps and rubella vaccine antigens might be associated with autism, as a leading cause or a resulting event. Further research is needed to confirm these findings.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology*
  • Antigens, Viral / metabolism
  • Autistic Disorder / immunology*
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dietary Proteins / immunology*
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance*
  • Male

Substances

  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Autoantibodies
  • Dietary Proteins