Background/aim: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are complex, and severe heterogeneous neurodevelopmental pathologies with accepted but complex immune system abnormalities. Additional knowledge regarding potential immune dysfunctions may provide a greater understanding of this malady. The aim of this study was to evaluate the CD57(+)CD3(-) mature lymphocyte subpopulation of natural killer cells as a marker of immune dysfunction in ASD.
Materials and methods: Three-color flow cytometry-based analysis of fresh peripheral blood samples from children with autism was utilized to measure CD57(+)CD3(-) lymphocytes.
Results: A reduction of CD57(+)CD3(-) lymphocyte count was recorded in a significant number of patients with autism.
Discussion and conclusion: We demonstrated that the number of peripheral CD57(+)CD3(-) cells in children with autism often falls below the clinically accepted normal range. This implies that a defect in the counter-regulatory functions necessary for balancing pro-inflammatory cytokines exists, thus opening the way to chronic inflammatory conditions associated with ASD.
Keywords: Autism; CD57+CD3− lymphocytes; HNK-1; immune dysfunction.
Copyright © 2016 International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. John G. Delinassios), All rights reserved.