Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Influence of maternal cytokines during pregnancy on effector and regulatory T helper cells as etiological factors in autism  

One theme that emerges from clinical and experimental studies in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is inflammation and autoimmunity in individuals with ASD and their families. Dr. Ponzio and his colleagues propose to use well-documented experimental models of ASD to test the hypothesis that stimulation of the maternal immune system during pregnancy alters the normal proportions of newly discovered populations of lymphocytes known as T Helper 17 (TH17) cells and T regulatory (Treg) cells, the balance of which may be responsible for determining whether or not the observed neuroinflammation in ASD occurs. Activation of specific types of lymphocytes during an immune response causes secretion of proteins (known as cytokines) that can induce inflammation. If this occurs during pregnancy, these cytokines may cross the placenta, enter the fetus, and influence neural development and cause immunological outcomes and ASD-like behavior patterns in the offspring. This experiment will examine different mechanisms by which cytokine secretions may mediate neural development, including whether or not they alter the placenta, whether they can enter fetal tissues, and if they promote differentiation of immune cells which alter the neuroinflammatory process. Project Status
ONGOING

2009

Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $127,499.15
Project Number 2545
Principal Investigator Ponzio, Nicholas
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 3: What Caused This To Happen And Can This Be Prevented? (Risk Factors)
Strategic Plan Objective New! Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 3SE. Support at least two studies to determine if there are subpopulations that are more susceptible to environmental exposures (e.g., immune challenges related to infections, vaccinations, or underlying autoimmune problems) by 2012. IACC Recommended Budget: $8,000,000 over 2 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey
State/Country New Jersey
Web Link 1 Influence of maternal cytokines during pregnancy on effector and regulatory T helper cells as etiological factors in autism (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Influence of maternal cytokines during pregnancy on effector and regulatory T helper cells as etiological factors in autism | $93,500.00 | 2010 | 4934
Influence of maternal cytokines during pregnancy on effector and regulatory T helper cells as etiological factors in autism | $110,000.00 | 2008 | 2545