Amniotic fluid MMP-9 and neurotrophins in autism spectrum disorders: an exploratory study

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Morsi Abdallah, Brad D Pearce, Nanna Larsen, Kirstin Greaves-Lord, Bent Nørgaard-Pedersen, David M Hougaard, Erik L Mortensen, Jakob Grove

Evidence suggests that some developmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), are caused by errors in brain plasticity. Given the important role of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and neurotrophins (NTs) in neuroplasticity, amniotic fluid samples for 331 ASD cases and 698 frequency-matched controls were analyzed for levels of MMP-9, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, NT-4 and transforming growth factor-ß utilizing a Danish historic birth cohort and Danish nationwide health registers. Laboratory measurements were performed using an in-house multiplex sandwich immunoassay Luminex xMAP method, and measurements were analyzed using tobit and logistic regression. Results showed elevated levels of MMP-9 in ASD cases compared with controls (crude and adjusted tobit regression P-values: 0.01 and 0.06). Our results highlight the importance of exploring the biologic impact of MMP-9 and potential therapeutic roles of its inhibitors in ASD and may indicate that neuroplastic impairments in ASD may present during pregnancy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAutism Research
Volume5
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)428-33
Number of pages6
ISSN1939-3792
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

ID: 44583147