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Glutathione S-transferases (GST) are involved in the detoxification of exogenous chemicals including lead (Pb). Using data from 344 pairs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) cases and age- and sex-matched typically developing (TD) controls (2−8 years old) from Jamaica, we investigated the interaction between three GST genes and ASD status as determinants of blood Pb concentrations (BPbCs). We found that ASD cases had lower geometric mean BPbCs than TD children (1.74 vs. 2.27 µg/dL, p < 0.01). Using a co-dominant genetic model, ASD cases with the Ile/Val genotype for the GSTP1 Ile105Val polymorphism had lower GM BPbCs than TD controls, after adjusting for a known interaction between GSTP1 and GSTT1, child’s parish, socioeconomic status, consumption of lettuce, fried plantains, and canned fish (Ile/Val: 1.78 vs. 2.13 µg/dL, p = 0.03). Similarly, among carriers of the I/I or I/D (I*) genotype for GSTT1 and GSTM1, ASD cases had lower adjusted GM BPbCs than TD controls (GSTT1 I*: 1.61 vs. 1.91 µg/dL, p = 0.01; GSTM1 I*: 1.71 vs. 2.04 µg/dL, p = 0.01). Our findings suggest that genetic polymorphisms in GST genes may influence detoxification of Pb by the enzymes they encode in Jamaican children with and without ASD.


Autism Spectrum Disorder, Child, Child, Preschool, Glutathione Transferase, Humans, Jamaica, Lead



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