Abdallah, Morsi7; Pearce, Brad D4; Larsen, Nanna4; Greaves-Lord, Kirstin4; Nørgaard-Pedersen, Bent4; Hougaard, David M4; Mortensen, Erik Lykke5; Grove, Jakob8
1 Department of Public Health - Department of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, Health, Aarhus University2 Department of Biomedicine - Department of Human Genetics, Department of Biomedicine, Health, Aarhus University3 Bioinformatics Research Centre (BiRC), Science and Technology, Aarhus University4 unknown5 Institut for Folkesundhedsvidenskab6 Department of Biomedicine - Forskning og uddannelse, Øst, Department of Biomedicine, Health, Aarhus University7 Department of Public Health - Department of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, Health, Aarhus University8 Department of Biomedicine - Forskning og uddannelse, Øst, Department of Biomedicine, Health, Aarhus University
An Exploratory Study
Evidence suggests that some developmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), are caused by errors in brain plasticity. Given the important role of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and neurotrophins (NTs) in neuroplasticity, amniotic fluid samples for 331 ASD cases and 698 frequency-matched controls were analyzed for levels of MMP-9, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, NT-4 and transforming growth factor-ß utilizing a Danish historic birth cohort and Danish nationwide health registers. Laboratory measurements were performed using an in-house multiplex sandwich immunoassay Luminex xMAP method, and measurements were analyzed using tobit and logistic regression. Results showed elevated levels of MMP-9 in ASD cases compared with controls (crude and adjusted tobit regression P-values: 0.01 and 0.06). Our results highlight the importance of exploring the biologic impact of MMP-9 and potential therapeutic roles of its inhibitors in ASD and may indicate that neuroplastic impairments in ASD may present during pregnancy.