Abdallah, Morsi4; Pearce, Brad D5; Larsen, Nanna6; Greaves-Lord, Kirstin5; Nørgaard-Pedersen, Bent5; Hougaard, David M5; Mortensen, Erik L8; Grove, Jakob7
1 Department of Public Health, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Section of Occupational and Environmental Health, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet3 Center for Healthy Ageing, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet4 Klinisk Epidemiologisk Afdeling5 unknown6 Statens Serum Institut7 Institut for Biomedicin - Human Genetik8 Section of Occupational and Environmental Health, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
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.