Autism is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social interaction and repetitive behaviors. Diagnosis of autism is currently phenotype based with no reliable laboratory test available to assist clinicians. It has been shown that dysfunction of serotonin (5-HT) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) are involved in autism. The goal of this study was to evaluate the combined role of 5-HT and IL-6 as potential biomarkers for autism. The whole blood concentration of 5-HT and plasma concentration of IL-6 of individuals with autism were significantly elevated compared with the control group, and the concentration of 5-HT and IL-6 had positive correlations with the severity of autism. The results of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis indicated that the combination of 5-HT and IL-6 produced the best sensitivity and specificity for diagnosis of autism. Therefore, the present study has revealed a simple clinical method with great potential for assisting the diagnosis of autism.
Keywords: autism; biomarker; interleukin-6 (IL-6); serotonin (5-HT).
Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.