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

Systematic characterization of the immune response to gluten and casein in autism spectrum disorders  

Wheat and milk proteins, including gluten and casein, have been suspected of having a role in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, while the rate of the use of gluten and/or casein exclusion diets in children with autism is increasing, the evidence for efficacy of these diets remains weak. At the same time, there is lack of consensus with regard to reports of elevated immune response to gluten and casein or increased concentrations of specific gluten and casein peptides in ASD. The aims of this project represent a systematic exploratory approach to examine the relevance of gluten and casein to ASD in a controlled study. ASD patients, celiac disease patients, and healthy individuals will be tested for levels of antibodies to gluten, casein, deamidated gluten, and the transglutaminase enzyme. The specificity of the immune response to the various gluten (gliadin and glutenin) and casein (alpha, beta, and kappa) molecules will be assessed by chromatography, mass spectrometry, and immunologic assays. Patient and control serum specimens will be assessed for the presence of specific gluten and casein peptides known to have opioid-like biological activity. The proposed experiments are expected to provide insight into the relevance of two commonly consumed groups of dietary proteins and the immune response against them in ASD. In addition, our proposed study to fully characterize the immune response to gluten and casein provides an opportunity to discover novel biomarkers that may become useful in identifying specific disease subtypes. Project Status
ONGOING

2010

Funder Department of Defense
Fiscal Year Funding $0.00
Current Award Period 2010-2012
Project Number AR093487
Principal Investigator Alaedini, Armin
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening? (Biology)
Subcategory Immune/Metabolic Pathways
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 2SA. Support at least four research projects to identify mechanisms of fever, metabolic and/or immune system interactions with the central nervous system that may influence ASD during prenatal-postnatal life by 2010. IACC Recommended Budget: $9,800,000 over 4 years. (Fever studies to be started by 2012.)
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution Weill Cornell Medical College
State/Country New York
Web Link 1 Systematic characterization of the immune response to gluten and casein in autism spectrum disorders (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Systematic characterization of the immune response to gluten and casein in autism spectrum disorders | $126,432.00 | 2009 | AR093487