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Table 1 Neurotensin actions relevant to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) pathogenesis

From: Focal brain inflammation and autism

Effect Result
Activation and proliferation of microglia Brain inflammation
Activation of mast cells Blood–brain-barrier disruption and inflammation
Disruption of gut-blood barrier Leaky gut and inflammation
Mast cell stimulation, especially in the subgroup of ASD patients with allergic symptoms Augmentation of allergic symptoms
Extracellular secretion of mitochondrial components that act as innate pathogens Inflammation
Stimulation of glutamate receptors Neuronal damage
Direct neurotoxicity Neuronal damage