ASD is associated with several immunological defects, such as reduced complement proteins, increased number and altered functions of natural killer (NK) cells and T-cells, gastrointestinal (GI) tract inflammation, and uncharacteristic proliferative responses to mitogens. In addition, children with ASD often exhibit abnormal B-cell and monocyte levels.

Several studies have indicated that ASD enhances cytokine levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or serum concentrations of autoantibodies to caudate nucleus, myelin basic protein, cerebellar proteins or neurofilaments, nerve growth factor, neuron-axon filament protein, and α2 adrenergic receptors. In addition, serum autoantibodies, such as cerebral folate receptor autoantibodies or anti-nucleosome specific antibodies, have also been found in other brain components of children with autism.

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