Assessment of Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule (NCAM) in Autistic Serum and Postmortem Brain

Amy E. Purcell, Mary Margaret Rocco, Jennifer A. Lenhart, Karim Hyder, Andrew W. Zimmerman, Jonathan Pevsner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies have identified structural abnormalities in areas of the autistic brain, with a pattern suggesting that a neurodevelopmental anomaly took place. Neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), which is involved in development of the central nervous system, was previously shown to be decreased in the serum of autistic individuals. In the present study, we measured NCAM protein in the sera from controls, patients with autism, siblings of autistic patients, and individuals with other neurologic disorders, but found no significant differences. We also measured NCAM protein in autistic postmortem brain samples and found the longest isoform, NCAM-180, to be significantly decreased. In addition, we investigated the mRNA expression of NCAM in these brain samples using cDNA microarrays and RT-PCR. Results show that NCAM mRNA levels are not altered in autism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-194
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2001


  • Autism
  • Brain
  • Neural cell adhesion molecule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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