Science Library Abstract
Published: 2017

Aluminum adjuvants promote brain inflammation, and males appear to be more susceptible to aluminum’s toxic effects.


Subcutaneous injections of aluminum at vaccine adjuvant levels activate innate immune genes in mouse brain that are homologous with biomarkers of autism


Li D, Tomljenovic L, Li Y, Shaw CA. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 2017;177:39–54.


Autism manifests in early childhood, during a window of early developmental vulnerability where the normal developmental trajectory is most susceptible to xenobiotic insults. Aluminum (Al) vaccine adjuvants are xenobiotics with immunostimulating and neurotoxic properties to which infants worldwide are routinely exposed. This research found that aluminum triggered innate immune system activation and altered neurotransmitter activity in male mice, observations which are consistent with those in autism. Female mice were less susceptible to aluminum as the frontal cortex was the most affected area in males and the cerebellum in females. These findings suggest that aluminum adjuvants promote brain inflammation and that males appear to be more susceptible to aluminum′s toxic effects. (Note: This study has since been retracted by the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, but the importance of the topic prompted our decision to keep it in our science library.)

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