Depressed lymphocyte responsiveness in autistic children

E. Gene Stubbs, Mary Lou Crawford, Denis R. Burger, Arthur A. Vandenbark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Scopus citations


Although there are associations linking autism with prenatal rubella, cytomegalovirus, syphilis, and varicella, the etiology of the autistic state remains obscure. Host defense against the etiologic agents postulated to be responsible for the autism-associated syndromes is believed to be primarily of the cell-mediated type. In this preliminary study, cellular immune function was assessed in vitro by phytohemagglutinin (PHA)stimulation of lymphocyte cultures. Twelve autistic children and 13 control subjects were compared. The autistic group exhibited a depressed lymphocyte transformation response to PHA when compared to the control subjects (p<.01).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1977
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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