Antibodies against the voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) and its protective ligand hexokinase-I in children with autism.

Journal of neuroimmunology

PubMedID: 20576296

Gonzalez-Gronow M, Cuchacovich M, Francos R, Cuchacovich S, Fernandez Mdel P, Blanco A, Bowers EV, Kaczowka S, Pizzo SV. Antibodies against the voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) and its protective ligand hexokinase-I in children with autism. J Neuroimmunol. 2010;227(1-2):153-61.
Autistic children show elevated serum levels of autoantibodies to several proteins essential for the function of normal brains. The voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) and hexokinase-I, a VDAC protective ligand, were identified as targets of this autoimmunity in autistic children. These autoantibodies were purified using immunoaffinity chromatographic techniques. Both antibodies induce apoptosis of cultured human neuroblastoma cells. Because VDAC and hexokinase-I are essential for brain protection from ischemic damage, the presence of these autoantibodies suggests a possible causal role in the neurologic pathogenesis of autism.