Elevated cytokine levels in children with autism spectrum disorder

Cynthia A. Molloy, Ardythe L. Morrow, Jareen Meinzen-Derr, Kathleen Schleifer, Krista Dienger, Patricia Manning-Courtney, Mekibib Altaye, Marsha Wills-Karp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

240 Scopus citations


This study compared production of IL-2, IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-13, IL-5 and IL-10 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 20 children with autism spectrum disorder to those from matched controls. Levels of all Th2 cytokines were significantly higher in cases after incubation in media alone, but the IFN-γ/IL-13 ratio was not significantly different between cases and controls. Cases had significantly higher IL-13/IL-10 and IFN-γ/IL-10 than controls. Conclusion: Children with ASD had increased activation of both Th2 and Th1 arms of the adaptive immune response, with a Th2 predominance, and without the compensatory increase in the regulatory cytokine IL-10.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-205
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive immune responses
  • Autism
  • Cytokines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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