ARTICLE | Translation in Brief

Social cytokines

Dysfunctional T cells may cause social impairment in autism

August 4, 2016 7:00 AM UTC

While variants in immune genes, maternal infections, and autoimmunity have all been linked to autism, no study has shown how immune mechanisms contribute to the disorder. Now, a University of Virginia group has provided a glimpse into the connection by showing that the adaptive immune system promotes social behavior via a mechanism that may become dysfunctional in autism.

The findings, published last month in Natureby the lab of Jonathan Kipnis, professor and chair of the university's Department of Neuroscience, follow the group's 2015 landmark discovery that the surface of the brain is covered in lymphatic vessels. ...