Quantification of serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines
Flow cytometry multiplex assessment of the proinflammatory cytokines:
There are many reports of cytokine imbalances in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). These imbalances could have a pathogenic role, or they may be markers of underlying genetic and environmental influences. Cytokines act primarily as mediators of immunological activity but they also have significant interactions with the nervous system.
- IL-1b, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p70, TNF, TGF-b1, MIP-1b, MCP1
Cytokine profiles change dramatically in the face of infection, disease, and toxic exposures. Ashwood et al. (Brain Behav Immun. 2011) reported on significant increases in plasma levels of a number of cytokines, including IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-12p40 in the ASD group compared with controls. Suzuki et al. (PLoS One 2011) reported that the plasma concentrations of IL-1β, IL-1RA, IL-5, IL-8, IL-12(p70), IL-13, IL-17 and GRO-α were significantly higher in subjects with ASD compared with the corresponding values of matched controls.
Okada et al. (Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2007) and Ashwood et al. (J Neuroimmunol. 2008 ) reported on decreased serum levels of transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGFb1) in patients with autism, with lower TGFb1 levels associated with lower adaptive behaviors and worse behavioral symptoms, suggesting that immune responses in autism may be inappropriately regulated due to reductions in TGFb1.
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