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Reduced serum levels of pro-inflammatory chemokines in fragile X syndrome

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Background Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most frequent cause of inherited intellectual disability and the most commonly identified monogenic cause of autism. Recent studies have shown that long-term pathological consequences of FXS are not solely confined to the central nervous system (CNS) but rather extend to other physiological dysfunctions in peripheral organs. To gain insights into possible immune dysfunctions in FXS, we profiled a large panel of immune-related biomarkers in the serum of FXS patients and healthy controls. Methods We have used a sensitive and robust Electro Chemi Luminescence (ECL)-based immunoassay to measure the levels of 52 cytokines in the serum of n = 25 FXS patients and n = 29 healthy controls. We then used univariate statistics and multivariate analysis, as well as an advanced unsupervised clustering method, to identify combinations of immune-related biomarkers that could discriminate FXS patients from healthy individuals. Results While the majority of the tested cytokines were present at similar levels in FXS patients and healthy individuals, nine chemokines, CCL2, CCL3, CCL4, CCL11, CCL13, CCL17, CCL22, CCL26 and CXCL10, were present at much lower levels in FXS patients. Using robust regression, we show that six of these biomarkers (CCL2, CCL3, CCL11, CCL22, CCL26 and CXCL10) were negatively associated with FXS diagnosis. Finally, applying the K-sparse unsupervised clustering method to the biomarker dataset allowed for the identification of two subsets of individuals, which essentially matched the FXS and healthy control categories. Conclusions Our data show that FXS patients exhibit reduced serum levels of several chemokines and may therefore exhibit impaired immune responses. The present study also highlights the power of unsupervised clustering methods to identify combinations of biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis in medicine.
Tijdschrift: BMC Neurology
Volume: 20
Pagina's: 1 - 12
Jaar van publicatie:2020