Associations of impaired behaviors with elevated plasma chemokines in autism spectrum disorders

J Neuroimmunol. 2011 Mar;232(1-2):196-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2010.10.025. Epub 2010 Nov 20.


A role for immune dysfunction has been suggested in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Elevated levels of chemokines have been detected in the brain and CSF of individuals with ASD but, to date, no study has examined chemokine levels in the plasma of children with this disorder. In the current study, we determined whether there were differential profiles of chemokines in the plasma of children with ASD compared to age-matched typically developing controls and children with developmental disabilities other than ASD. Increased MCP-1, RANTES and eotaxin levels were observed in ASD children compared with both control groups (p<0.03), and increased chemokine production was associated with higher aberrant behavior scores and more impaired developmental and adaptive function.. Elevated MCP-1, RANTES and eotaxin in some ASD children and their association with more impaired behaviors may have etiological significance. Chemokines and their receptors might provide unique targets for future therapies in ASD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aquaporins / blood
  • Chemokine CCL2 / blood*
  • Chemokine CCL5 / blood*
  • Chemokine CXCL10 / blood
  • Chemokines / blood
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / blood*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Eye Proteins / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male


  • Aquaporins
  • CCL2 protein, human
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Chemokine CCL5
  • Chemokine CXCL10
  • Chemokines
  • Eye Proteins
  • aquaporin 0