Abnormal REDOX System in Autism by Ved Chauhan, PhD

On October 15, 2009, 12:39 pm

Membrane lipids play an important role in the control of cellular functions. Emerging evidence from our laboratory and other groups suggest that autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are connected with abnormalities in lipid metabolism and oxidative stress. We have reported previously altered levels of amino-glycerophospholipids (AGP) in the membrane and plasma in autism. Membrane fluidity, a marker of unsaturated fatty acids, was decreased in the erythrocyte membranes of children with autism as compared to typically developing siblings. Our results suggest increased peroxidation of lipids in the plasma, cerebellum and temporal cortex of autistic subjects as compared to control subjects. Decreased serum levels of ceruloplasmin (copper transporting protein) and transferrin (iron-transporting protein), major antioxidant proteins, were observed in autism that correlated with loss of previously acquired language skills in these subjects. Copper could selectively affect the levels of AGP in the membrane of lymphoblasts suggesting a potential role of copper in autism. Mitochondria are the main source of free radicals. We observed increased levels of free radicals in mitochondria, decreased activities of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione reductase, and concomitant decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential in lymphoblasts from autism suggesting mitochondrial dysfunctions in autism. Taken together, our results suggest that REDOX abnormalities may account for some of the brain structural and cognitive deficits in autism.

Ved Chauhan, PhD obtained his PhD in biochemistry from Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, India. After finishing a postdoctoral training at University of Southern California, he joined New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities in Staten Island, New York where he is Head of Cellular Neurochemistry laboratory. Dr. Chauhan is the editor of the book titled Autism: Oxidative stress, inflammation and immune abnormalities to be published by Taylor and Francis group. In 2008, he served as an Associate Editor of the "Special Issue on Autism Spectrum Disorders" of the American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology. Dr. Chauhan has organized and chaired several Symposia on Neurobiology, Oxidative stress and Inflammation in Autism at various scientific meetings such as Annual Meeting of American Society for Neurochemistry (ASN), International Symposium on Advances in Neurosciences, and at the New York State Institute for Basic Research. He has published over 70 peer reviewed articles in Journals.

No votes yet