- •The seropositivity of anti-ds-DNA and/or ANA in autistic children was 42%.
- •Family history of autoimmunity had a significant positive association to anti-ds-DNA.
- •Autoimmunity to CNS may have a role in the pathogenesis of autism in some patients.
Autoimmunity to central nervous system may have a role in the pathogenesis of autism. A subset of anti-ds-DNA antibodies has been recently proved to be pathogenic to the brain as well as to the kidney. Due to the paucity of studies investigating the frequency of systemic auto-antibodies in autism, we are the first to investigate the frequency of anti-ds-DNA antibodies in a group of autistic children. The seropositivity of anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA) was also investigated. Serum anti-ds-DNA antibodies and ANA were measured in 100 autistic children, aged between 4 and 11 years, in comparison to 100 healthy-matched children. The seropositivity of anti-ds-DNA antibodies and ANA in autistic children was 34% and 25%, respectively. In addition, 42% of autistic children were seropositive for anti-ds-DNA antibodies and/or ANA. The frequencies of anti-ds-DNA antibodies and ANA in autistic children were significantly higher than that in healthy children (4% and 2%, respectively), (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively). Autistic children with a family history of autoimmunity (45%) had significantly higher frequency of serum anti-ds-DNA antibodies (48.9%) than patients without such a history (21.8%), P = 0.008. There was a significant positive association between the seropositivity of anti-ds-DNA antibodies and ANA (P < 0.001). In conclusion, anti-ds-DNA antibodies and ANA were found in the sera of a subgroup of autistic children. However, replication studies of larger samples are warranted to validate whether these antibodies are a mere association or have a pathogenic role in some autistic children.
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Published online: April 26, 2014
Accepted: April 17, 2014
Received in revised form: April 12, 2014
Received: January 3, 2014
☆All coauthors have seen and agreed with the contents of the manuscript.
☆☆Submission is not under review at any other publication.
★We have no financial or commercial involvement or other conflicts of interest by any author.
© 2014 Elsevier B.V. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.