Special Issue "Neuro-Immune Interactions in Autism Spectrum Disorders"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Stephen Schultz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, UT Health San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229 USA
Interests: autism spectrum disorder; inflammation, fever; interleukins; acetaminophen use; endocannabinoid system; cannabidiol; neuro-immune activation
Dr. Dario Siniscalco
E-Mail Website
Chief Guest Editor
Department of Experimental Medicine, Division of Biotechnology, Molecular Biology and Histology, University of Campania "L. Vanvitelli", via S. Maria di Costantinopoli 16, 80138 Naples, Italy
Interests: autism; stem cells; gene expression; neuro-immunology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Georgianna G. Gould
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, UT Health San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229 USA
Interests: serotonin system disruption in autism; social behaviors; mouse models

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Special Issue Introduction: Maternal immune activation and early life infections are factors that can increase risk of autism and related developmental disorders. Given this, it follows that treatments which modulate the immune response, either systemically or in the brain, may hold promise for management or amelioration of autism symptoms. This Special Issue on neuro-immune interactions in autism seeks to provide a timely update on both fronts and seeks research contributions of both pre-clinical and clinical findings, as well as reviews on specific topics within this scope.

Autism spectrum disorder is changing the lives of tens of thousands of children around the world, and there has recently been a growing realization that it can be brought on by neuro-inflammation which can occur in the prenatal and the early postnatal period. This inflammation can induce subtle changes in brain anatomy and functioning which can be difficult to recognize and even more difficult to treat. Some of these changes in the brain are seen by decreased number of neurons, shortened axons, and problems with myelinization in individuals with ASD. We have posited that the contributing factors for these changes come from neuro-immune interactions evidenced by changes in amounts and types of interleukins, cytokines, and immunoglobulins. Currently, there is no effective medication to treat the core symptoms of ASD. The endocannabinoid system can control inflammation through receptors on immune system cells. Research has shown that cannabidiol which affects these receptors holds promise as a possible treatment. Papers addressing these and other topics exploring neuro-immune interactions in ASD are invited for this Special Issue, especially those with new ideas for treatment and prevention of this as yet incurable disorder.

Dr. Stephen Schultz
Dr. Dario Siniscalco
Dr. Georgianna G. Gould

Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Immune activation
  • Interleukins
  • Cytokines
  • Chemokines
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Immune response
  • Immunotherapy
  • Myelinization
  • Neurons
  • Restrictive–repetitive
  • Social behavior deficits, Perinatal infections
  • Cannabinoids, Autism spectrum disorders

Published Papers (1 paper)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
Mycobacterium tuberculosis-Induced Maternal Immune Activation Promotes Autism-Like Phenotype in Infected Mice Offspring
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4513; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18094513 - 23 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 738
Abstract
The maternal system’s exposure to pathogens during pregnancy influences fetal brain development causing a persistent inflammation characterized by elevated pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in offspring. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is a global pathogen that causes tuberculosis, a pandemic responsible for health and economic [...] Read more.
The maternal system’s exposure to pathogens during pregnancy influences fetal brain development causing a persistent inflammation characterized by elevated pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in offspring. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is a global pathogen that causes tuberculosis, a pandemic responsible for health and economic burdens. Although it is known that maternal infections increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it is not known whether Mtb infection is sufficient to induce ASD associated behaviors, immune dysregulation and altered expression of synaptic regulatory genes. The current study infected pregnant Balb/c mice with Mtb H37Rv and valproic acid (VPA) individually and in combination. Plasma cytokine profiles were measured in offspring using the Bio-plex Th17 pro mouse cytokine panel. Mtb infection increased plasma interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-17A, while tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interferon (IFN)-γ and IL-1β were reduced when compared with saline. Mtb-induced maternal immune activation (MIA) offspring displayed increased grooming behavior. The study also revealed dysregulation in gene expression of synaptic molecules in the cerebellum. MIA rescued the VPA-induced effects on self-grooming and social interaction behaviors. Our finding therefore highlights a potential role of Mtb as a MIA agent that can potentially contribute to ASD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuro-Immune Interactions in Autism Spectrum Disorders)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop