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      Neuronal Surface Antibody Syndrome: A Review of the Characteristics of the Disease and Its Association with Autoantibodies

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          Abstract

          Several studies have certified that autoantibodies play an important role in the manifestation of neuromuscular diseases. Scientists have discovered specific neuronal tumor antibodies in patients with typical paraneoplastic neurological disorders. But in some clinical cases, it is not useful to cure this disease with common treatments unless the autoantibodies are addressed. In addition, recent studies have shown a close relationship between certain antibodies and neuronal surface proteins in some special cases. These antibodies, which act on the surface of neurons, mainly include voltage-gated calcium channel (VGKC) antibodies. VGKC antibodies are further divided into several types including anti-leucine-rich glioma inactivated 1 (LGI1), anti-contactin-associated protein-like 2 (Caspr2), anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR), anti-α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR), anti-γ-aminobutyric acid receptor (GABAR), and glycine receptor. For the purpose of this review, cases of clinical studies of autoantibody-associated encephalitis were collected, the key points regarding the pathogenesis were summarized, the clinical manifestation was discussed, and all this information was organized as this review in order to introduce the relationship between autoantibodies and autoimmune encephalitis. Furthermore, it is hoped that it can effectively direct the development of diagnostic and therapeutic approach in the future.

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          Most cited references 40

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          Antibodies to Kv1 potassium channel-complex proteins leucine-rich, glioma inactivated 1 protein and contactin-associated protein-2 in limbic encephalitis, Morvan’s syndrome and acquired neuromyotonia

          Antibodies that immunoprecipitate 125I-α-dendrotoxin-labelled voltage-gated potassium channels extracted from mammalian brain tissue have been identified in patients with neuromyotonia, Morvan’s syndrome, limbic encephalitis and a few cases of adult-onset epilepsy. These conditions often improve following immunomodulatory therapies. However, the proportions of the different syndromes, the numbers with associated tumours and the relationships with potassium channel subunit antibody specificities have been unclear. We documented the clinical phenotype and tumour associations in 96 potassium channel antibody positive patients (titres >400 pM). Five had thymomas and one had an endometrial adenocarcinoma. To define the antibody specificities, we looked for binding of serum antibodies and their effects on potassium channel currents using human embryonic kidney cells expressing the potassium channel subunits. Surprisingly, only three of the patients had antibodies directed against the potassium channel subunits. By contrast, we found antibodies to three proteins that are complexed with 125I-α-dendrotoxin-labelled potassium channels in brain extracts: (i) contactin-associated protein-2 that is localized at the juxtaparanodes in myelinated axons; (ii) leucine-rich, glioma inactivated 1 protein that is most strongly expressed in the hippocampus; and (iii) Tag-1/contactin-2 that associates with contactin-associated protein-2. Antibodies to Kv1 subunits were found in three sera, to contactin-associated protein-2 in 19 sera, to leucine-rich, glioma inactivated 1 protein in 55 sera and to contactin-2 in five sera, four of which were also positive for the other antibodies. The remaining 18 sera were negative for potassium channel subunits and associated proteins by the methods employed. Of the 19 patients with contactin-associated protein-antibody-2, 10 had neuromyotonia or Morvan’s syndrome, compared with only 3 of the 55 leucine-rich, glioma inactivated 1 protein-antibody positive patients (P < 0.0001), who predominantly had limbic encephalitis. The responses to immunomodulatory therapies, defined by changes in modified Rankin scores, were good except in the patients with tumours, who all had contactin-associated-2 protein antibodies. This study confirms that the majority of patients with high potassium channel antibodies have limbic encephalitis without tumours. The identification of leucine-rich, glioma inactivated 1 protein and contactin-associated protein-2 as the major targets of potassium channel antibodies, and their associations with different clinical features, begins to explain the diversity of these syndromes; furthermore, detection of contactin-associated protein-2 antibodies should help identify the risk of an underlying tumour and a poor prognosis in future patients.
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            Cellular and synaptic mechanisms of anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis.

            We recently described a severe, potentially lethal, but treatment-responsive encephalitis that associates with autoantibodies to the NMDA receptor (NMDAR) and results in behavioral symptoms similar to those obtained with models of genetic or pharmacologic attenuation of NMDAR function. Here, we demonstrate that patients' NMDAR antibodies cause a selective and reversible decrease in NMDAR surface density and synaptic localization that correlates with patients' antibody titers. The mechanism of this decrease is selective antibody-mediated capping and internalization of surface NMDARs, as Fab fragments prepared from patients' antibodies did not decrease surface receptor density, but subsequent cross-linking with anti-Fab antibodies recapitulated the decrease caused by intact patient NMDAR antibodies. Moreover, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of miniature EPSCs in cultured rat hippocampal neurons showed that patients' antibodies specifically decreased synaptic NMDAR-mediated currents, without affecting AMPA receptor-mediated currents. In contrast to these profound effects on NMDARs, patients' antibodies did not alter the localization or expression of other glutamate receptors or synaptic proteins, number of synapses, dendritic spines, dendritic complexity, or cell survival. In addition, NMDAR density was dramatically reduced in the hippocampus of female Lewis rats infused with patients' antibodies, similar to the decrease observed in the hippocampus of autopsied patients. These studies establish the cellular mechanisms through which antibodies of patients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis cause a specific, titer-dependent, and reversible loss of NMDARs. The loss of this subtype of glutamate receptors eliminates NMDAR-mediated synaptic function, resulting in the learning, memory, and other behavioral deficits observed in patients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis.
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              N-methyl-d-aspartate antibody encephalitis: temporal progression of clinical and paraclinical observations in a predominantly non-paraneoplastic disorder of both sexes

              Antibodies to the N-methyl-d-aspartate subtype of glutamate receptor have been associated with a newly-described encephalopathy that has been mainly identified in young females with ovarian tumours. However, the full clinical spectrum and treatment responses are not yet clear. We established a sensitive cell-based assay for detection of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antibodies in serum or cerebrospinal fluid, and a quantitative fluorescent immunoprecipitation assay for serial studies. Although there was marked intrathecal synthesis of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antibodies, the absolute levels of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antibodies were higher in serum than in cerebrospinal fluid. N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antibodies were of the immunoglobulin G1 subclass and were able to activate complement on N-methyl d-aspartate receptor-expressing human embryonic kidney cells. From questionnaires returned on 44 N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antibody-positive patients, we identified a high proportion without a detected tumour (35/44, 80%: follow-up 3.6–121 months, median 16 months). Among the latter were 15 adult females (43%), 10 adult males (29%) and 10 children (29%), with four in the first decade of life. Overall, there was a high proportion (29%) of non-Caucasians. Good clinical outcomes, as defined by reductions in modified Rankin scores, correlated with decreased N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor antibody levels and were associated with early (<40 days) administration of immunotherapies in non-paraneoplastic patients (P < 0.0001) and earlier tumour removal in paraneoplastic patients (P = 0.02). Ten patients (23%) who were first diagnosed during relapses had no evidence of tumours but had received minimal or no immunotherapy during earlier episodes. Temporal analysis of the onset of the neurological features suggested progression through two main stages. The time of onset of the early features, characterized by neuropsychiatric symptoms and seizures preceded by a median of 10–20 days, the onset of movement disorders, reduction in consciousness and dysautonomia. This temporal dichotomy was also seen in the timing of cerebrospinal fluid, electroencephalographic and in the rather infrequent cerebral imaging changes. Overall, our data support a model in which the early features are associated with cerebrospinal fluid lymphocytosis, and the later features with appearance of oligoclonal bands. The immunological events and neuronal mechanisms underlying these observations need to be explored further, but one possibility is that the early stage represents diffusion of serum antibodies into the cortical grey matter, whereas the later stage results from secondary expansion of the immunological repertoire within the intrathecal compartment acting on subcortical neurons. Four patients, who only had temporal lobe epilepsy without oligoclonal bands, may represent restriction to the first stage.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NIM
                Neuroimmunomodulation
                10.1159/issn.1021-7401
                Neuroimmunomodulation
                S. Karger AG
                1021-7401
                1423-0216
                2020
                July 2020
                18 June 2020
                : 27
                : 1
                : 1-8
                Affiliations
                aDepartment of Neurosurgery, Binzhou Medical University Hospital, Binzhou, China
                bDepartment of Neurology, Binzhou Medical University Hospital, Binzhou, China
                cDepartment of Neurology, Liaocheng People’s Hospital, Liaocheng, China
                Author notes
                *Meiling Wang or Jianmin Li, Department of Neurology/Department of Neurosurgery, Binzhou Medical University Hospital, No. 661 Huanghe 2nd Road, Binzhou City, Shandong Province 256600 (China), wmc_111@126.com or jml6309@126.com
                Article
                507448 Neuroimmunomodulation 2020;27:1–8
                10.1159/000507448
                32554968
                © 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 1, Pages: 8
                Categories
                Review Article

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