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Serum Cytokine and Growth Factor Levels in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Ivo Lochman, Veronika Švachová, Kristýna Mílková Pavlíková, Hana Medřická, Vilém Novák, Lenka Trilecová, Lubomír Pavliska, Václav Procházka

Department of Immunology and Serology, The SPADIA LAB Laboratory Plc., Ostrava, Czech Republic

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:2639-2646

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.906817

Available online:

Published: 2018-04-29

BACKGROUND: The immune system may have a role in the pathogenesis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including typical and atypical autism. The aim of this study was to determine whether a cytokine and growth factor panel could be identified for the diagnosis and prognosis in children with ASD, including typical and atypical autism.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This study included 26 children with ASD (typical or atypical) and 11 of their siblings who did not have ASD. A panel of ten serum cytokines and growth factors were investigated using addressable laser bead assay (ALBIA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. Results were correlated with scores using the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) for the children with ASD and compared with the findings from their siblings without ASD.
RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences in serum cytokine and growth factor levels between children with ASD and their siblings. The scores using CARS and ADOS were significantly greater in children with typical autism compared with children with atypical autism as part of the ASD spectrum. Serum levels of cytokines and growth factors showed a positive correlation with CARS and ADOS scores but differed between children with typical and atypical autism and their siblings.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study showed that serum measurement of appropriately selected panels of cytokines and growth factors might have a role in the diagnosis of ASD.

Keywords: Autistic Disorder, Clinical Laboratory Techniques, Cytokines