Platelet and intestinal 5-HT2A receptor mRNA in autistic spectrum disorders - results of a pilot study

Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars). 2010;70(2):232-8.


The etiology and pathogenesis of autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) are still unknown. Platelet hyperserotonemia has been detected in 25-60% of autistic children. Higher incidence of gastrointestinal problems in people with autism is observed. The aim was compare the expression of platelet 5-HT(2A)r mRNA in autistic and non autistic groups. In a subgroup of patients with gastrointestinal problems an upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopy was performed and additionally the expression of 5-HT(2A) receptor mRNA in the duodenum was assessed. The examination was conducted in 79 children - 51 with ASD and 28 without autistic traits. Statistically significant differences between the study and control groups were proven in gastrointestinal problems. The analyses reveal a significantly higher level of 5-HT(2A)r mRNA in platelets of the study group patients, which could suggest serotonin system dysregulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / blood
  • Autistic Disorder / genetics*
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Duodenum / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Poland
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2A / genetics*
  • Serotonin / blood*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2A
  • Serotonin