Inflammation and neuroimmunity in the pathogenesis of autism: Neural and immune network interactions

Carlos A Pardo-Villamizar, Andrew W. Zimmerman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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 languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAutism
Subtitle of host publicationOxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Immune Abnormalities
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781420068870
ISBN (Print)9781420068818
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Inflammation and neuroimmunity in the pathogenesis of autism: Neural and immune network interactions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this