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Assessment of metallothionein and antibodies to metallothionein in normal and autistic children




Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2006 Jun;17(4):291-6.


Assessment of metallothionein and antibodies to metallothionein in normal and autistic children having exposure to vaccine-derived thimerosal.


Singh VK, Hanson J.


Department of Biology, Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA.


Allergic autoimmune reaction after exposure to heavy metals such as mercury may play a causal role in autism, a developmental disorder of the central nervous system. As metallothionein (MT) is the primary metal-detoxifying protein in the body, we conducted a study of the MT protein and antibodies to metallothionein (anti-MT) in normal and autistic children whose exposure to mercury was only from thimerosal-containing vaccines. Laboratory analysis by immunoassays revealed that the serum level of MT did not significantly differ between normal and autistic children. Furthermore, autistic children harboured normal levels of anti-MT, including antibodies to isoform MT-I (anti-MT-I) and MT-II (anti-MT-II), without any significant difference between normal and autistic children. Our findings indicate that because autistic children have a normal profile of MT and anti-MT, the mercury-induced autoimmunity to MT may not be implicated in the pathogenesis of autism.


PMID: 16771783 [PubMed - in process]

Full Article Available Online



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