IFNG/IFNG-AS1 expression level balance: implications for autism spectrum disorder

  • Hamid Fallah
  • Arezou SayadEmail author
  • Fatemeh Ranjbaran
  • Fatemeh Talebian
  • Soudeh Ghafouri-Fard
  • Mohammad TaheriEmail author
Original Article


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with different epidemiological, genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors. Although its etiology is not fully understood, immune dysfunction is implicated in this disease. Recently, a large number of genes encoding long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) were discovered which act as positive or negative regulators of neighboring target genes. The lncRNA, Interferon gamma-antisense RNA (IFNG-AS1), regulates expression levels of the Interferon gamma (IFNG) gene. In the present study, we investigated expression of IFNG and IFNG-AS1 in 50 children with ASD (15 females and 35 males, mean age: 6 ± 1.4 years) and 50 healthy controls (14 females and 36 males, mean age: 6 ± 1.74 years) by real time PCR technique. The results showed significant up-regulation of IFNG and down-regulation of IFNG-AS1 expression in children with ASD compared to controls (Fold change = 1.5, P < 0.0001; Fold change = −0.143, P = 0.013, respectively). The IFNG expression level increase was more pronounced in male ASD children (Fold change = 1.621; p < 0.0001). Our data reveal a functional disruption in the interactive network of IFNG/IFNG-AS1 regulation, which could be a contributing factor in the chronic inflammatory aspect of ASD. Our findings can help understanding the underlying contributors to ASD pathogenesis and find novel treatment options for children with ASD.


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) INFG INFG-AS1 



The present study was supported by a grant from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (grant number: 14254).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hamid Fallah
    • 1
  • Arezou Sayad
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fatemeh Ranjbaran
    • 2
  • Fatemeh Talebian
    • 3
  • Soudeh Ghafouri-Fard
    • 1
  • Mohammad Taheri
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medical GeneticsShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Iran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Ohio State University Medical CenterColumbusUSA
  4. 4.Urogenital Stem Cell Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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