Decreased levels of G protein-coupled estrogen receptor in children with autism spectrum disorders

Psychiatry Res. 2017 Nov:257:67-71. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2017.06.008. Epub 2017 Jun 6.


Sex hormones, specially estrogen, and ıt is receptors plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of psychiatric disorders including autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between ASD and G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER), a recently discovered estrogen receptors, and also to study the relation of serum GPER levels with the severity of autistic symptoms. The present study included 45 children with drug naive ASD diagnosed by DSM-V criteria, aged between 3 and 12 years and 40 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. The severity of ASD was evaluated with the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) total score. The GPER levels in the serum were measured using the quantitative sandwich enzyme immunoassay technique. The serum GPER level was significantly lower in the ASD patients than in the controls. There was a negative significant correlation between the GPER level and the CARS score. There were no significant correlations between GPER level with estradiol and age. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that the decreased serum GPER levels were associated with ASD and GPER may play an important role in the etiology of ASD.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorders; Estogens receptors; Estrogen; GPER; Psychiatric disorders; Sex hormones.

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / blood*
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Receptors, Estrogen / blood*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • GPER1 protein, human
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Estradiol