Elevated levels of cortisol, brain-derived neurotropic factor and tissue plasminogen activator in male children with autism spectrum disorder.

Publication date: Jul 22, 2021

Several studies demonstrated biological effects of cortisol, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) on human metabolism and central nervous system. Our study investigated the serum levels of tPA along with BDNF and cortisol in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Thirty three male children with ASD ranging in age from 2 to 15 years were selected for the study group and 27 age-matched healthy male children were selected for the control group. The ASD severity was determined by the score on the Autism Behavior Checklist (ABC). The mean cortisol levels for the study group and the control group were 79. 1 +/- 30. 2 ng/ml and 60. 0 +/- 25. 1 ng/ml, respectively. The mean BDNF levels for the study group and the control group were 5. 9 +/- 2. 8 ng/ml and 3. 7 +/- 1. 8 ng/ml, respectively. The mean tPA levels for the study group and the control group were 32. 9 +/- 18. 5 ng/ml and 25. 5 +/- 15. 1 ng/ml, respectively. Cortisol, BDNF and tPA levels were significantly higher in the study group compared to the control group (p  0. 05). It may be suggested that elevations may indicate a role in the pathogenesis of ASD or it may be the case that ASD may alter the levels or pathways of these metabolic factors. LAY SUMMARY: The underlying mechanism or a specific metabolic target relevant to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has not yet been identified. Cortisol, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) have biological effects on neuroplasticity but little is known about the role of cortisol and tPA-BDNF pathway in ASD. In the present study focused on male children with ASD, we have found higher blood levels of cortisol, BDNF and tPA than their healthy peers. This is the first clinical study to evaluate the serum tPA levels along with BDNF and cortisol in ASD. The results suggest that several neurotrophic and other related markers should be born in mind while examining children with ASD.

Concepts Keywords
Autism Branches of biology
Genes Developmental neuroscience
Neuroplasticity Psychiatric diagnosis
Growth factors
Neurotrophic factors
Peptide hormones
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
Cortisol
Plasminogen activator
Tissue plasminogen activator
Autism
TPA

Semantics

Type Source Name
drug DRUGBANK Hydrocortisone
drug DRUGBANK Alteplase
disease MESH autism spectrum disorder
pathway REACTOME Metabolism
disease MESH Autism
drug DRUGBANK Abacavir

Original Article

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