Vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms associated with childhood autism

Anna Ciéslińska, Elzbieta Kostyra, Barbara Chwała, Małgorzata Moszyńska-Dumara, Ewa Fiedorowicz, Gosia Teodorowicz, Huub F.J. Savelkoul*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of heterogeneous, behaviorally defined disorders whereby currently no biological markers are common to all affected individuals. A deregulated immune response may be contributing to the etiology of ASD. The active metabolite of vitamin D3has an immunoregulatory role mediated by binding to the vitamin D receptor (VDR) in monocyte, macrophages, and lymphocytes. The effects of vitamin D and interaction with the VDR may be influenced by polymorphism in the VDR gene. Methods: Genetic association of four different VDR polymorphisms (Apa-I, Bsm-I, Taq-I, Fok-I) associated with susceptibility to the development of autism in children was investigated. Results: We uniquely found an association between the presence of the T allele at position Taq-I and presence of the a allele at position Apa-I of the VDR gene with decreased ASD incidence. There was also an association between female gender and the presence of the T allele. We found no statistical significant correlation between VDR single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and vitamin D3concentration in serum of ASD children. Conclusion: Genetic polymorphism in two SNP in VDR may be correlated with development of ASD symptoms by influencing functionality of vitamin D3metabolism, while vitamin D3levels were not significantly different between ASD and non-ASD children.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Autism
  • Polymorphism
  • Receptor
  • SNP analysis
  • Vitamin D


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