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Maternal antibodies as predictive biomarkers for Autism Spectrum Disorder (R-9531)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by behavioral symptoms which become apparent in early childhood, but which have life-long debilitating effects. Early ASD diagnosis is crucial for the initiation of early behavioral therapies, which often lead to a better outcome for the affected individuals. Previous studies have shown an association between the presence of autoantibodies in the blood of the mother and the development of ASD in her child later in life. Especially when these autoantibodies show reactivity against fetal brain proteins, they could impair normal brain development after they pass through the placenta to the brain of the developing child during pregnancy. In this project, we aim to identify and characterize novel maternal autoantibodies, which could be used as novel predictive and diagnostic biomarkers for ASD and which might elucidate novel etiological mechanisms of early impairment of fetal brain development. A selection of maternal samples from the Simons Simplex Collection of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative will be screened for autoantibody reactivity using serological antigen selection, a phage display approach that allows expression of human fetal brain cDNA products and isolation of the corresponding protein epitopes. Overall, this project will allow a detailed profiling of the antibody response in maternal samples of children with ASD, which might lead to novel predictive biomarkers and the discovery of novel targets whose impairment can lead to altered brain development.
Date:1 Jan 2019 →  31 Dec 2020
Keywords:Autism Spectrum Disorder, BIOMARKERS
Disciplines:Adaptive immunology, Autoimmunity