Investigating the Relationship of Serum CD163, YKL40 and VILIP-1 Levels with Autism Severity and Language-cognitive Development in Preschool Children with Autism
Samet Can Demirci1,2, Süreyya Barun3, Ahmet Özaslan1,4, Özlem Gülbahar5, Tuba Saadet Deveci Bulut5, Aysu Duyan Çamurdan6, Elvan İşeri1
1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Gazi University Medical Faculty, Ankara, Turkey
2Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Ardahan State Hospital, Ardahan, Turkey
3Department of Medical Pharmacology, Gazi University Medical Faculty, Ankara, Turkey
4Autism and Developmental Disorders Application and Research Center, Gazi University Ankara, Turkey
5Department of Medical Biochemistry, Gazi University Medical Faculty, Ankara, Turkey
6Department of Child Health and Diseases, Gazi University Medical Faculty, Ankara, Turkey
Correspondence to: Samet Can Demirci
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Gazi University Medical Faculty, Emniyet Mahallesi, Mevlana Bulvarı No 29, Yenimahalle/Ankara 06500, Turkey
Received: December 11, 2023; Revised: March 17, 2024; Accepted: March 27, 2024; Published online: April 24, 2024.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

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Objective: This study aimed to compare serum levels of CD163, YKL-40, and VILIP-1 between children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and healthy controls, while also investigating their association with the severity of ASD and language development.
Methods: The study included 40 ASD-diagnosed patients (aged 18−72 months) and 40 age-matched healthy controls. Childhood Autism Rating Scale, Preschool Language Scale-4, and Ankara Development Screening Inventory were administered to children in the ASD group. Serum CD163, YKL-40 and VILIP-1 levels were measured with an enzyme- linked immunosorbent assay kit.
Results: In the ASD group compared to the control group, serum VILIP-1 levels were significantly higher (p = 0.046). No significant differences were observed in mean serum CD163 and YKL-40 levels between patients and controls (p = 0.613, p = 0.769). Interestingly, a positive correlation was observed between CD163 and YKL-40 levels and ASD severity (p < 0.001 for both). Additionally, CD163 and YKL-40 levels showed significant predictive value for ASD severity. While no significant associations were found between CD163 and YKL-40 levels and language development, a negative correlation was observed between VILIP-1 levels and language development (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Our findings highlight that the levels of CD163 and YKL-40 significantly predicted ASD severity, indicating a potential role of neuroinflammation in the development of ASD.
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; Neuroinflammation; Chitinase-3-like protein 1; Neurocalcin

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