Elevated immune response in the brain of autistic patients

Xiaohong Li, Abha Chauhan, Ashfaq M. Sheikh, Sangita Patil, Ved Chauhan, Xiu Min Li, Lina Ji, Ted Brown, Mazhar Malik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

549 Scopus citations


This study determined immune activities in the brain of ASD patients and matched normal subjects by examining cytokines in the brain tissue. Our results showed that proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6 and GM-CSF), Th1 cytokine (IFN-γ) and chemokine (IL-8) were significantly increased in the brains of ASD patients compared with the controls. However the Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5 and IL-10) showed no significant difference. The Th1/Th2 ratio was also significantly increased in ASD patients. Conclusion: ASD patients displayed an increased innate and adaptive immune response through the Th1 pathway, suggesting that localized brain inflammation and autoimmune disorder may be involved in the pathogenesis of ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2009


  • Autistic spectrum disorders (ASD)
  • Cytokines
  • Flow cytometry method
  • Immune response
  • Inflammation
  • Multiplexed bead analysis


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