Targeting neurotensin as a potential novel approach for the treatment of autism

J Neuroinflammation. 2010 Oct 1;7:58. doi: 10.1186/1742-2094-7-58.


The pathophysiology of autism remains obscure. Recently, serum neurotensin levels in children with autistic disorder have been found to be higher than those of normal children. Neurotensin is known to intensify neuronal NMDA-mediated glutamate signaling, which may cause apoptosis in autism. Further, an imbalance of glutamate/GABAergic system in autism has been described. These observations lead to a postulate that neurotensin may accentuate the hyperglutaminergic state in autism, leading to apoptosis. Targeting neurotensin might be a possible novel approach for the treatment of autism.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / blood
  • Autistic Disorder / therapy*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Neurotensin / blood*


  • Neurotensin