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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00612

Inheritance of HLA-Cw7 Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

  • 1University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, United States
  • 2Arkansas Children's Research Institute (ACRI), United States
  • 3BioRosa Technologies, United States
  • 4National Center for Toxicological Research (FDA), United States
  • 5Pediatrics, Division of Autism Research, Phoenix Children's Hospital, United States
  • 6Child Health, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, United States

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a behaviorally defined disorder that is now thought to affect approximately 1 in 69 children in the United States. In most cases, the etiology is unknown, but several studies point to the interaction of genetic predisposition with environmental factors. The immune system is thought to have a causative role in ASD, and specific studies have implicated T lymphocytes, monocytes, Natural Killer (NK) cells and certain cytokines. The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) system is involved in the underlying process for shaping an individual’s immune system, and specific HLA alleles are associated with specific diseases as risk factors. In this study we determine whether a specific HLA allele was associated with ASD in a large cohort of patients with ASD. Identifying such an association could help in the identification of immune system components which may have a causative role in specific cohorts of patients with ASD who share similar specific clinical features. Specimens from 143 patients with ASD were analyzed with respect to race and ethnicity. Overall, HLA-Cw7 was present in a much greater frequency than expected in individuals with ASD as compared to the general population. Further, the cohort of patients who express HLA-Cw7 share specific immune system/inflammatory clinical features including being more likely to have allergies, food intolerances and chronic sinusitis as compared to those with ASD who did not express HLA-Cw7. HLA-Cw7 has a role in stimulating NK cells. Thus, this finding may indicate that chronic over-activation of NK cells may have a role in the manifestation of ASD in a cohort of patients with increased immune system/inflammatory features.

Keywords: Autism (ASD), HLA, Immune System, Natural Kiiler cells, Innate immnuity

Received: 18 Dec 2018; Accepted: 31 Jul 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Harville, Rhodes-Clark, Bennuri, Delhey, Slattery, Wynne, Rose, Kahler and Frye. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Richard E. Frye, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Pediatrics, Division of Autism Research, Phoenix, 72202, Arkansas, United States,