Human plasma glycome in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorders

Mol Cell Proteomics. 2011 Jan;10(1):M110.004200. doi: 10.1074/mcp.M110.004200. Epub 2010 Oct 25.


Over a half of all proteins are glycosylated, and their proper glycosylation is essential for normal function. Unfortunately, because of structural complexity of nonlinear branched glycans and the absence of genetic template for their synthesis, the knowledge about glycans is lagging significantly behind the knowledge about proteins or DNA. Using a recently developed quantitative high throughput glycan analysis method we quantified components of the plasma N-glycome in 99 children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), 81 child and 5 adults with autism spectrum disorder, and a total of 340 matching healthy controls. No changes in plasma glycome were found to associate with autism spectrum disorder, but several highly significant associations were observed with ADHD. Further structural analysis of plasma glycans revealed that ADHD is associated with increased antennary fucosylation of biantennary glycans and decreased levels of some complex glycans with three or four antennas. The design of this study prevented any functional conclusions about the observed associations, but specific differences in glycosylation appears to be strongly associated with ADHD and warrants further studies in this direction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / blood*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polysaccharides / blood*
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry


  • Polysaccharides