Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopment disorder characterized by deficits in communicative and social behaviors (Meltzer, 2017) . As of 2012 the CDC reported that 1 of 68 children born in the U.S. have ASD (Christensen, 2016). The immune systems of mother and child can be important in ASD. A signaling molecule, HLA-G, helps regulate maternal natural killer cell interaction with the fetus. A defect in HLA-G could increase NK cell activity, leading to abnormal neurodevelopment in the fetus (Carosella, 2008). Our study focuses on a 14 base pair insertion/deletion found in the HLA-G gene of autistic subjects and their mothers, previously examined in an Italian population by Guerini (2014). We are also expanding to look at HLA-G and intellectual disability (ID) in ASD. HLA-DRB1, another gene in the HLA region of chromosome 6, has been linked to ASD and impaired ID (IQ<80, Wang, 2013).
Page, Cameron; Benson, Michael; Sweeten, Thayne; Torres, Anthony; Kharrazi, Martin; and Croen, Lisa, "HLA-G 14bp Polymorphism in Autism" (2017). Biology Posters. Paper 152.