Adaptive Maternal Immune Deviations as a Ground For Autism Spectrum Disorders Development in Children

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Abstract

Autism is a vexed problem today. Overall, there is a high frequency of birth children (1:80 – 1:150) with late diagnosed autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and this trend is getting progressively stronger. The causes for the currently increased frequency of ASD and the pathogenesis of ASD are not fully understood yet. One of the most likely mechanisms inducing ASD may be a maternal immune imprinting. This phenomenon is based on transplacental translocation of maternal antibodies of IgG class and, as a consequence, on the epigenetic “tuning” of immune system of the fetus and child. This mechanism provides development of child’s anti-infection resistance before meeting with microorganisms, but it can be also a cause of inborn pathology including the ASD appearance. The quantitative changes in maternal blood serum autoantibodies depend on a specific microbial population, or are induced by environmental chemical pollutants in association with some individual features of the maternal metabolism. These immune changes are adaptive in most cases for the maternal organism, but can be pathogenic for the fetus in some cases. We discuss in the present paper the possibilities to predict the risk from abnormal development of nervous system in fetus and early diagnosis of ASD in high-risk group of children.

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