Deciduous tooth biomarkers reveal atypical fetal inflammatory regulation in autism spectrum disorder

iScience. 2023 Feb 21;26(3):106247. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2023.106247. eCollection 2023 Mar 17.


Atypical regulation of inflammation has been proposed in the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD); however, measuring the temporal profile of fetal inflammation associated with future ASD diagnosis has not been possible. Here, we present a method to generate approximately daily profiles of prenatal and early childhood inflammation as measured by developmentally archived C-reactive protein (CRP) in incremental layers of deciduous tooth dentin. In our discovery population, a group of Swedish twins, we found heightened inflammation in the third trimester in children with future ASD diagnosis relative to controls (n = 66; 14 ASD cases; critical window: -90 to -50 days before birth). In our replication study, in the US, we observed a similar increase in CRP in ASD cases during the third trimester (n = 47; 23 ASD cases; -128 to -21 days before birth). Our results indicate that the third trimester is a critical period of atypical fetal inflammatory regulation in ASD.

Keywords: Clinical neuroscience; Immunology.