Autism was described by physicians in 1943, but scientists still can not establish the exhaustive reasons for its occurrence. A new study indicates an existing link between viral diseases suffered by a woman during pregnancy and a high risk of developing autism in her child
Researchers reviewed the scientific point of view on the body's immune response and discovered a community of immune system cells capable of provoking autism.
Physicians studied certain types of T-helper cells - Th17, which is responsible for cytokines, in particular IL-17a interleukin. These cells control the immune response to viral aggression and reduce possible hyperactivity by regulating the immune response.
In case of an error in these processes, conditions are created under which the fetus develops autism, multiple sclerosis or psoriasis. Such conclusions allowed scientists to make an experience in which they infected with viruses of laboratory rodents and watched their offspring.
Scientists noted that a number of mice showed signs of autism. So the young rodents did not distinguish between real and artificial mice, preferring to spend more time with the latter. At the autopsy, scientists noted that certain parts of the brain have damage that is characteristic of autistic patients.
In the next experiment, scientists using various methods blocked the work of cytokines in pregnant female mice and continued to monitor their offspring.
Scientists concluded that, regardless of the method of blocking IL-17a in pregnant females, the offspring were born healthy, which proved the importance of the influence of these cells on the occurrence of autism.
According to lead specialist Dan Littman, the study is the first scientific fact of studying such a connection. Now scientists have to track down viral diseases in pregnant women and for several years to establish the statistics of autism in their children.
Conclusions from the scientific work published the publication "Science".