Neuroinflammation in autism spectrum disorders
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The neurobiological basis for autism remains poorly understood. However, research suggests that environmentalfactors and neuroinflammation, as well as genetic factors, are contributors.
This study aims to test the role that might be played by heat shock protein (HSP)70, transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta2, Caspase 7 and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)in the pathophysiology of autism.
Materials and methods: HSP70, TGF-beta2, Caspase 7 and INF-gamma as biochemical parameters related to inflammation were determined in plasma of 20 Saudi autistic male patients and compared to 19 age- and gender-matched control samples.
The obtained data recorded that Saudi autistic patients have remarkably higher plasma HSP70, TGF-beta2, Caspase 7 and INF-gamma compared to age and gender-matched controls. INF-gamma recorded the highest (67.8%) while TGF-beta recorded the lowest increase (49.04%).
Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) analysis together with predictiveness diagrams proved that the measured parameters recorded satisfactory levels of specificity and sensitivity and all could be used as predictive biomarkers.
Alteration of the selected parameters confirm the role of neuroinflammation and apoptosis mechanisms in the etiology of autism together with the possibility of the use of HSP70, TGF-beta2, Caspase 7 and INF-gamma as predictive biomarkers that could be used to predict safety, efficacy of a specific suggested therapy or natural supplements, thereby providing guidance in selecting it for patients or tailoring its dose.