Oxytocin but Not Testosterone Modulates Behavioral Patterns in Autism Spectrum Disorders


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder of unknown etiology. Social deficits represent one of the core symptoms of the diagnosis. The aim was to reveal possible correlations among peripheral levels of oxytocin and testosterone with behavioral and symptom characteristics in patients with ASD. 8 children with ASD were recruited and underwent psychological profiling. Blood oxytocin and testosterone levels were analyzed using ELISA method. Oxytocin levels positively correlated with Adaptation to change category of CARS-2 (P = 0.008, R = 0.848) and Vineland-II maladaptive behavior scores (P = 0.004, R = 0.884). No significant correlations were found among testosterone levels and behavioral parameters. Higher oxytocin levels were connected with more severe adaptive behavior in ASD patients. Increased oxytocin levels in children with more severe phenotype could be a result of compensatory mechanism of impaired oxytocin signaling. Oxytocin seems to employ distinct mechanisms in regulating social behavior in autism and healthy population.

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S. Lakatosova, S. Nurit, P. Anna, H. Veronika, R. Irina, O. Daniela and C. Maria, "Oxytocin but Not Testosterone Modulates Behavioral Patterns in Autism Spectrum Disorders," Open Journal of Medical Psychology, Vol. 3 No. 1, 2014, pp. 48-53. doi: 10.4236/ojmp.2014.31006.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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