Immune Dysfunction in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are complex and heterogeneous with a spectrum of diverse symptoms. Current estimates suggest that ASD affects approximately 1% of children and is a major public health issue. Despite decades of research, little is known about factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of the disorder, although both genetic and environmental factors have been implicated. A number of published findings have identified numerous immune abnormalities in subjects with ASD and their families, both at the systemic and cellular levels. In addition, genetic studies have also uncovered a number of candidate genes that link immune function with ASD. Collectively these findings point to a pivotal role for immune-dysregulation in the pathogenesis of ASD. A better understanding of the involvement of the immune response on early brain development and how this is altered in ASD will have important therapeutic implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMolecular and Integrative Toxicology
PublisherSpringer Science+Business Media B.V.
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameMolecular and Integrative Toxicology
ISSN (Print)2168-4219
ISSN (Electronic)2168-4235


  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Broad Autism Phenotype
  • Celiac Disease
  • Immune Dysfunction
  • Natural Killer Cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Drug Discovery
  • Toxicology


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