Milk and bacterial proteins may produce neuron-specific antigens in children with autism. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Antibodies to neuron-specific antigens in children with autism: possible cross-reaction with encephalitogenic proteins from milk, Chlamydia pneumoniae and Streptococcus group A.
J Neuroimmunol. 2002 Aug;129(1-2):168-77. PMID: 12161033
Section of Neuroimmunology, Immunosciences Laboratory, Inc., 8693 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 200, Beverly Hills, CA 90211, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
We measured autoantibodies against nine different neuron-specific antigens and three cross-reactive peptides in the sera of autistic subjects and healthy controls by means of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing. The antigens were myelin basic protein (MBP), myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG), ganglioside (GM1), sulfatide (SULF), chondroitin sulfate (CONSO4), myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG), alpha,beta-crystallin (alpha,beta-CRYS), neurofilament proteins (NAFP), tubulin and three cross-reactive peptides, Chlamydia pneumoniae (CPP), streptococcal M protein (STM6P) and milk butyrophilin (BTN). Autistic children showed the highest levels of IgG, IgM and IgA antibodies against all neurologic antigens as well as the three cross-reactive peptides. These antibodies are specific because immune absorption demonstrated that only neuron-specific antigens or their cross-reactive epitopes could significantly reduce antibody levels. These antibodies may have been synthesized as a result of an alteration in the blood-brain barrier. This barrier promotes access of preexisting T-cells and central nervous system antigens to immunocompetent cells, which may start a vicious cycle. These results suggest a mechanism by which bacterial infections and milk antigens may modulate autoimmune responses in autism.