Oxidative stress and mitochondrial abnormalities in the lymphoblasts from autistic individuals: effect of environmental agents by

On June 25, 2010, 4:49 pm

View on iPhone Accumulating evidence suggests that oxidative stress and immunological factors may play role in the pathophysiology of autism. We have reported increased lipid peroxidation and reduced levels of antioxidant proteins, namely, ceruloplasmin and transferrin in the plasma from children with autism. Further studies suggest an imbalance of serum immunoglobulin levels in autism. The levels of IgG and its sub-classes (IgG2, IgG4) were increased, while those of IgM were decreased in the autistic children. In addition, serum complement C3 and C4 that facilitate immunological and inflammatory responses were higher in autism. Brain tissue is highly heterogeneous with different functions localized in specific areas, and it is highly vulnerable to oxidative stress. We compared lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, and cytokines profile in postmortem brain samples from autistic and age-matched normal subjects. While protein oxidation was increased in autism in frontal cortex, temporal cortex, and cerebellum, its levels in parietal and occipital cortex were similar between autism and control groups. In addition, lipid peroxidation was increased in the cerebellum and temporal cortex in autism. These results suggest that oxidative stress differentially affects selective regions of the brain in autism. Our studies also showed that pro-inflammatory cytokines in the brain were increased in autism. Abha Chauhan, PhD is head of the Developmental Neuroscience Laboratory at the NYS Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities (IBR), Staten Island, New York. She is also adjunct professor of the Neuroscience PhD Subprogram at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Dr. Chauhan received her PhD from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. She worked as a research associate at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York. Dr. Chauhan then joined the Department of Neurochemistry at IBR, where she has over 60 publications in the fields of membrane biochemistry, signal transduction, Alzheimer's disease, and autism. Dr. Chauhan is the principal investigator of research grants on autism from the Department of Defense, Autism Speaks, and the Autism Research Institute. Currently, her major interest is to investigate the biochemical and immunological changes associated with autism in blood samples, lymphoblast cell cultures, and postmortem brain samples, particularly as they relate to markers of oxidative stress, inflammatory response, and the function of immune system. Dr. Chauhan is the editor of the book Autism: Oxidative stress, Inflammation, and Immune Abnormalities. She also served as the guest editor of the "Special Issue on Autism Spectrum Disorders" of the American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology.

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