Administration of thimerosal-containing vaccines to infant rhesus macaques does not result in autism-like behavior or neuropathology

Bharathi S. Gadad, Wenhao Li, Umar Yazdani, Stephen Grady, Trevor Johnson, Jacob Hammond, Howard Gunn, Britni Curtis, Chris English, Vernon Yutuc, Clayton Ferrier, Gene P. Sackett, C. Nathan Marti, Keith Young, Laura Hewitson, Dwight C. German

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder. Some anecdotal reports suggest that ASD is related to exposure to ethyl mercury, in the form of the vaccine preservative, thimerosal, and/or receiving the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. Using infant rhesus macaques receiving thimerosalcontaining vaccines (TCVs) following the recommended pediatric vaccine schedules from the 1990s and 2008, we examined behavior, and neuropathology in three brain regions found to exhibit neuropathology in postmortem ASD brains. No neuronal cellular or protein changes in the cerebellum, hippocampus, or amygdala were observed in animals following the 1990s or 2008 vaccine schedules. Analysis of social behavior in juvenile animals indicated that there were no significant differences in negative behaviors between animals in the control and experimental groups. These data indicate that administration of TCVs and/or the MMR vaccine to rhesus macaques does not result in neuropathological abnormalities, or aberrant behaviors, like those observed in ASD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12498-12503
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume112
Issue number40
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 6 2015

Fingerprint

Thimerosal
Autistic Disorder
Macaca mulatta
Vaccines
Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine
Appointments and Schedules
Animal Behavior
Social Behavior
Brain
Amygdala
Mercury
Cerebellum
Hippocampus
Neuropathology
Pediatrics
Control Groups
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Proteins

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Neuropathology
  • Pediatric vaccines
  • Rhesus macaque
  • Thimerosal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Administration of thimerosal-containing vaccines to infant rhesus macaques does not result in autism-like behavior or neuropathology. / Gadad, Bharathi S.; Li, Wenhao; Yazdani, Umar; Grady, Stephen; Johnson, Trevor; Hammond, Jacob; Gunn, Howard; Curtis, Britni; English, Chris; Yutuc, Vernon; Ferrier, Clayton; Sackett, Gene P.; Marti, C. Nathan; Young, Keith; Hewitson, Laura; German, Dwight C.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 112, No. 40, 06.10.2015, p. 12498-12503.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gadad, BS, Li, W, Yazdani, U, Grady, S, Johnson, T, Hammond, J, Gunn, H, Curtis, B, English, C, Yutuc, V, Ferrier, C, Sackett, GP, Marti, CN, Young, K, Hewitson, L & German, DC 2015, 'Administration of thimerosal-containing vaccines to infant rhesus macaques does not result in autism-like behavior or neuropathology', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 112, no. 40, pp. 12498-12503. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1500968112
Gadad, Bharathi S. ; Li, Wenhao ; Yazdani, Umar ; Grady, Stephen ; Johnson, Trevor ; Hammond, Jacob ; Gunn, Howard ; Curtis, Britni ; English, Chris ; Yutuc, Vernon ; Ferrier, Clayton ; Sackett, Gene P. ; Marti, C. Nathan ; Young, Keith ; Hewitson, Laura ; German, Dwight C. / Administration of thimerosal-containing vaccines to infant rhesus macaques does not result in autism-like behavior or neuropathology. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2015 ; Vol. 112, No. 40. pp. 12498-12503.
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