Joussef Hayek, Carlo Cervellati, Ilaria Crivellari, Alessandra Pecorelli, Giuseppe Valacchi (2017). Lactonase activity and lipoprotein-phospholipase A2 as possible novel serum biomarkers for the differential diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders and Rett syndrome: results from a pilot study. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity.
Child Neuropsychiatry Unit, University General Hospital, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese, Viale M. Bracci 16, 53100 Siena, Italy
Department of Biomedical and Specialist Surgical Sciences, University of Ferrara, Via Luigi Borsari 46, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, Via Luigi Borsari 46, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Plants for Human Health Institute, Animal Science Dept., NC Research Campus, NC State University, 600 Laureate Way, Kannapolis, NC 28081, USA
Rett syndrome (RTT) and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are not merely expression of brain dysfunction, but also reflect the perturbation of physiological/metabolic homeostasis. Accordingly, both disorders appear to be associated with increased vulnerability to toxicants produced by redox imbalance, inflammation and pollution, and impairment of systemic detoxifying agents could play a role in the exacerbation of these detrimental processes. To check this hypothesis, the activities of two mechanistically related blood-based enzymes, Paraoxonase-1 (arylesterase, paraoxonase and lactonase) and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2), were measured in the serum of 79 ASD and 95 RTT patients, and 77 controls. Lactonase Lp-PLA2 showed a similar trend characterized by significantly lower levels of both activities in ASD compared to controls and RTT (p<0.001 for all pairwise comparisons). Noteworthy, receiving operator curve (ROC) analysis revealed that lactonase and, mostly, Lp-PLA2 were able to discriminate between ASD and controls (lactonase: area under curve, AUC= 0.660; Lp-PLA2, AUC = 0.780), and, considering only females, between ASD and RTT (lactonase, AUC= 0.714; Lp-PLA2, AUC = 0.881). These results suggest that lactonase and, especially, Lp-PLA2 activities might represent novel candidate biomarkers for ASD.