The role of the immune system and in ammation in the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is controversial. It is very clear now that the interaction of the immune system with the central nervous system (CNS) is critical for normal neurological and behavioral functions. Recent studies support the view that immune responses are involved in the modeling of the CNS during prenatal and postnatal stages, and that neuroimmune activity may disrupt normal neurodevelopment and contribute to the neuropathological abnormalities found in ASDs. This review focuses on the most recent research that links immunological factors, in ammation, and neuroimmune responses with autism. The ndings include maternal autoantibodies against fetal neural epitopes, the activation of neuroglia and neuroimmune pathways and abnormalities in systemic immune responses in children with autism. These immunological factors in uence two important stages of the CNS function: early brain development and neuronal organization, and later neuronal and synaptic physiology. A better understanding of the role of immunity and neuroin ammation in the pathogenesis of autism may have important clinical and therapeutic implications. Future studies should focus on the actions of neuroimmune factors during brain development in the pathogenesis of autism.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Autism|
|Subtitle of host publication||Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Immune Abnormalities|
|Number of pages||20|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2009|
ASJC Scopus subject areas