"Evaluation of Autistic Children in Terms of Blood Antioxidant Enzymes Levels"

Sayal A., Yorbik Ö., Kayaaltı Z., Kartal Y., Akay C.

The XIII International Congress of Toxicology, Seoul, South Korea, 30 June - 04 July 2013, pp.32

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Seoul
  • Country: South Korea
  • Page Numbers: pp.32
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


Free radicals are chemical molecules with unpaired electrons, which are known as strong oxidants because of making a connection with cellular molecules such as lipids, proteins and nucleic acids and destroying their functions. Impaired antioxidant mechanisms against these oxidants can result in cell injury and induce a variety of diseases including schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, Down’s syndrome and Parkinson’s disease. The cellular antioxidant defense system includes enzymatic and non-enzymatic processes. The main antioxidant enzymes blocking the initiation of free radical chain reactions are superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), hydrogen peroxidase and catalase (CAT).  The aim of the study is to detect the activities of antioxidant enzymes in autistic and healthy control children. For this purpose, 45 children with autistic syndrome according to the DSM-IV criteria and 41 healthy controls were included in this study. Blood samples were collected into glass tubes containing EDTA and activities of erythrocyte SOD, erythrocyte and plasma GSH-Px were assayed spectrophotometrically. Student’s t-test was performed for the statistical analyses. As a result, it was detected that autistic children’s SOD (t=-11.945; p<0.05) and GSH-Px (t=-10.865; p<0.05) activities in erythrocytes and GSH-Px (t=-13.251; p<0.05) activities in plasma were significantly lower than normal controls. These results showed that autistic children have low levels of activity of blood antioxidant enzyme systems and raise the possibility that low levels of antioxidant enzyme activities could play either a fundamental or modulating role in the etiology of autism. Further studies considering different parameters such as age, genetic, environmental and metabolic conditions which could affect the activities of antioxidant enzymes are now required to elucidate further the etiology of autism.