Autism-specific maternal autoantibodies recognize critical proteins in developing brain

D. Braunschweig, P. Krakowiak, P. Duncanson, R. Boyce, Robin L Hansen, Paul Ashwood, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Isaac N Pessah, Judith A Van de Water

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are neurodevelopmental in origin, affecting an estimated 1 in 88 children in the United States. We previously described ASD-specific maternal autoantibodies that recognize fetal brain antigens. Herein, we demonstrate that lactate dehydrogenase A and B (LDH), cypin, stress-induced phosphoprotein 1 (STIP1), collapsin response mediator proteins 1 and 2 (CRMP1, CRMP2) and Y-box-binding protein to comprise the seven primary antigens of maternal autoantibody-related (MAR) autism. Exclusive reactivity to specific antigen combinations was noted in 23% of mothers of ASD children and only 1% of controls. ASD children from mothers with specific reactivity to LDH, STIP1 and CRMP1 and/or cypin (7% vs 0% in controls; Po0.0002; odds ratios of 24.2 (95% confidence interval: 1.45-405)) had elevated stereotypical behaviors compared with ASD children from mothers lacking these antibodies. We describe the first panel of clinically significant biomarkers with over 99% specificity for autism risk thereby advancing our understanding of the etiologic mechanisms and therapeutic possibilities for MAR autism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere277
JournalTranslational Psychiatry
StatePublished - 2013


  • Autism
  • Autoantibodies
  • Fetal brain
  • Neurodevelopment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Medicine(all)


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