Nuclear Factor-Kappa B and Other Oxidative Stress Biomarkers in Serum of Autistic Children


The aim of the present study was to investigate the status of oxidative stress in the serum of children affected with autism spectrum disorder. Twenty autistic children aged 3 to 12 years, were gender and age-matched with 20 typically developing children. Changes in the levels of the redox-sensing transcription factor nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) was measured in serum of autistic children and controls. Other oxidative stress biomarkers such as malondialdehyde, reduced glutathione, total antioxidant capacity, catalase activity, and paraoxonase 1 activity were determined in serum as well. Significant increase was observed in serum NF-κB of autistic children compared to that in controls (by 138.6%). There was also marked increase in malondialdehyde level by 87.3% in autistic patients. Meanwhile, there were significant decreases in reduced glutathione (by 24%), catalase activity (by 40.8%), paraoxonase 1 activity (by 36.6%), and total antioxidant capacity (by 36.5%) compared to the control group. These data clearly demonstrate increased oxidative stress in serum of autistic children and suggest that the NF-κB signaling pathway is activated in autism, possibly due to increased oxidative burden.

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E. Abdel-Salam, O. , Youness, E. , Mohammed, N. and Elhamed, W. (2015) Nuclear Factor-Kappa B and Other Oxidative Stress Biomarkers in Serum of Autistic Children. Open Journal of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, 5, 18-27. doi: 10.4236/ojmip.2015.51002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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