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Blood platelet research in autism spectrum disorders: In search of biomarkers

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a clinically heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder that is caused by gene-environment interactions. To improve its diagnosis and treatment, numerous efforts have been undertaken to identify reliable biomarkers for autism. None of them have delivered the holy grail that represents a reproducible, quantifiable, and sensitive biomarker. Though blood platelets are mainly known to prevent bleeding, they also play pivotal roles in cancer, inflammation, and neurological disorders. Platelets could serve as a peripheral biomarker or cellular model for autism as they share common biological and molecular characteristics with neurons. In particular, platelet-dense granules contain neurotransmitters such as serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid. Molecular players controlling granule formation and secretion are similarly regulated in platelets and neurons. The major platelet integrin receptor αIIbβ3 has recently been linked to ASD as a regulator of serotonin transport. Though many studies revealed associations between platelet markers and ASD, there is an important knowledge gap in linking these markers with autism and explaining the altered platelet phenotypes detected in autism patients. The present review enumerates studies of different biomarkers detected in ASD using platelets and highlights the future needs to bring this research to the next level and advance our understanding of this complex disorder.
Tijdschrift: Res Pract Thromb Haemost
ISSN: 2475-0379
Issue: 4
Volume: 3
Pagina's: 566 - 577
Aantal pagina's: 12
Jaar van publicatie:2019