Elevated plasma concentrations of S100 calcium-binding protein B and tumor necrosis factor alpha in children with autism spectrum disorders

Selin Aktan Guloksuz*, Osman Abali, Esin Aktas Cetin, Sema Bilgic Gazioglu, Gunnur Deniz, Abdurrahman Yildirim, Ivana Kawikova, Sinan Guloksuz, James F. Leckman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

34 Citations (Web of Science)


Objective: To investigate plasma concentrations of S100B (a calcium-binding protein derived primarily from the glia) and inflammatory cytokines in children with autism and the relationship between S100B and cytokine concentrations.

Methods: Plasma levels of S100B, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interferon gamma, interleukin (IL)-1 beta, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, and IL-17A were measured in 40 unmedicated children with autism and 35 normally developing healthy children. The severity of autism was assessed using the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS).

Results: Concentrations of both S100B and TNF-alpha were higher in children with autism before and after adjusting for a priori-selected confounders (age, sex, and body mass index). S100B concentrations were higher in children with severe autism compared to children with mild-moderate autism. However, this association remained as a trend after adjusting for confounders. S100B concentrations correlated positively with TNF-alpha concentrations.

Conclusion: Our findings showing an increase in peripheral concentrations of S100B and TNF-alpha provide limited support to the hypothesis about the roles of altered immune function and S100B in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Studies of larger numbers of well-characterized individuals with ASD are needed to clarify the potential role of the immune system in the pathophysiology of this disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-200
Number of pages6
JournalRevista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Autism
  • inflammation
  • glia
  • tumor necrosis factor
  • cytokine
  • S100B

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