Metabolic biomarkers related to oxidative stress and antioxidant status in Saudi autistic children

Clin Biochem. 2009 Jul;42(10-11):1032-40. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2009.03.011. Epub 2009 Mar 21.


Objective: Measurement of oxidative stress and antioxidant-related parameters (enzymatic and non-enzymatic) in Saudi autistic children.

Design and methods: 30 autistic children (22 males and 8 females) aged 3-15 years (25/30 of these were below 8 years old), and 30 healthy children as control group were included in this study. Levels of lipid peroxides, vitamin E, vitamin C, glutathione together with enzymatic activities of glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and catalase were determined in plasma while superoxide dismutase (SOD was measured in red blood cells of both groups.

Results: Lipid peroxidation was found to be significantly higher in autistic compared to control Saudi children. On the other hand, vitamin E and glutathione were remarkably lower in autistic patients while vitamin C shows non-significant lower values. Regarding the enzymatic antioxidants, both glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were significantly higher in autistic compared to control while catalase recorded more or less similar activities in both groups.

Conclusion: Saudi autistic children are under H(2)O(2) stress due to GSH depletion, over expression of SOD together with the unchanged catalase enzyme. This could be helpful in the early diagnosis of young autistic patients and suggesting the possibility of antioxidant supplementation for the early intervention with autistic children.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Ascorbic Acid / blood
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Autistic Disorder / blood
  • Autistic Disorder / enzymology
  • Autistic Disorder / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Catalase / blood
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Glutathione / blood
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood
  • Vitamin E / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Vitamin E
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione
  • Ascorbic Acid