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1.  Anti-DPPX encephalitis 
Neurology  2015;85(10):890-897.
To characterize pathogenic effects of antibodies to dipeptidyl-peptidase-like protein 6 (DPPX), a subunit of Kv4.2 potassium channels, on gut and brain neurons.
We identified a new patient with anti-DPPX encephalitis and analyzed the effects of the patient's serum and purified immunoglobulin G (IgG), and of serum of a previous patient with anti-DPPX encephalitis, on the activity of enteric neurons by voltage-sensitive dye imaging in guinea pig myenteric and human submucous plexus preparations. We studied the subcellular localization of DPPX by immunocytochemistry in cultured murine hippocampal neurons using sera of 4 patients with anti-DPPX encephalitis. We investigated the influence of anti-DPPX-containing serum and purified IgG on neuronal surface expression of DPPX and Kv4.2 by immunoblots of purified murine hippocampal neuron membranes.
The new patient with anti-DPPX encephalitis presented with a 2-month episode of diarrhea, which was followed by tremor, disorientation, and mild memory impairment. Anti-DPPX-IgG-containing sera and purified IgG increased the excitability and action potential frequency of guinea pig and human enteric nervous system neurons. Patient sera revealed a somatodendritic and perisynaptic neuronal surface staining that colocalized with the signal of commercial anti-DPPX and Kv4.2 antibodies. Incubation of hippocampal neurons with patient serum and purified IgG resulted in a decreased expression of DPPX and Kv4.2 in neuronal membranes.
Hyperexcitability of enteric nervous system neurons and downregulation of DPPX and Kv4.2 from hippocampal neuron membranes mirror the clinical phenotype of patients with anti-DPPX encephalitis and support a pathogenic role of anti-DPPX antibodies in anti-DPPX encephalitis.
PMCID: PMC4560062  PMID: 26291285
2.  Autoantibodies against glutamate receptor δ2 after allogenic stem cell transplantation 
To report on a Caucasian patient who developed steroid-responsive transverse myelitis, graft vs host disease of the gut, and anti-GluRδ2 after allogenic stem cell transplantation.
Histoimmunoprecipitation (HIP) with the patient's serum and cryosections of rat and porcine cerebellum followed by mass spectrometry was used to identify the autoantigen. Correct identification was verified by indirect immunofluorescence using recombinant GluRδ2 expressed in HEK293 cells.
The patient's serum produced a granular staining of the cerebellar molecular layer (immunoglobulin G1 and immunoglobulin G3; endpoint titer: 1:1,000) but did not react with other CNS tissues or 28 established recombinant neural autoantigens. HIP revealed a unique protein band at ∼110 kDa that was identified as GluRδ2. The patient's serum also stained GluRδ2 transfected but not mock-transfected HEK293 cells. Control sera from 38 patients with multiple sclerosis, 85 patients with other neural autoantibodies, and 205 healthy blood donors were negative for anti-GluRδ2. Preadsorption with lysate from HEK293-GluRδ2 neutralized the patient's tissue reaction whereas control lysate had no effect. In addition to anti-GluRδ2, the patient's serum contained immunoglobulin G autoantibodies against the pancreatic glycoprotein CUZD1, which are known to be markers of Crohn disease.
In the present case, the development of anti-GluRδ2 was associated with transverse myelitis, which was supposedly triggered by the stem cell transplantation. Similar to encephalitis in conjunction with anti-GluRδ2 reported in a few Japanese patients, the patient's neurologic symptoms ameliorated after steroid therapy.
PMCID: PMC4946772  PMID: 27458598
3.  Two new cases of anti-Ca (anti-ARHGAP26/GRAF) autoantibody-associated cerebellar ataxia 
Recently, we discovered a novel serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) autoantibody (anti-Ca) to Purkinje cells in a patient with autoimmune cerebellar ataxia (ACA) and identified the RhoGTPase-activating protein 26 (ARHGAP26; alternative designations include GTPase regulator associated with focal adhesion kinase pp125, GRAF, and oligophrenin-1-like protein, OPHN1L) as the target antigen. Here, we report on two new cases of ARHGAP26 autoantibody-positive ACA that were first diagnosed after publication of the index case study. While the index patient developed ACA following an episode of respiratory infection with still no evidence for malignancy 52 months after onset, neurological symptoms heralded ovarian cancer in one of the patients described here. Our finding of anti-Ca/anti-ARHGAP26 antibodies in two additional patients supports a role of autoimmunity against ARHGAP26 in the pathogenesis of ACA. Moreover, the finding of ovarian cancer in one of our patients suggests that anti-Ca/anti-ARHGAP26-positive ACA might be of paraneoplastic aetiology in some cases. In conclusion, testing for anti-Ca/anti-ARHGAP26 should be included in the diagnostic work-up of patients with ACA, and an underlying tumour should be considered in patients presenting with anti-Ca/ARHGAP26 antibody-positive ACA.
PMCID: PMC3549891  PMID: 23320754
Autoimmune cerebellar ataxia; Purkinje cells; Autoimmunity; Autoantibodies; RhoGTPase-activating protein 26 (ARHGAP26); GTPase regulator associated with focal adhesion kinase pp125 (GRAF); Oligophrenin-1-like protein; Paraneoplastic; Ovarian cancer
4.  Anterior interosseous nerve syndrome 
Neurology  2014;82(7):598-606.
We sought to determine lesion sites and spatial lesion patterns in spontaneous anterior interosseous nerve syndrome (AINS) with high-resolution magnetic resonance neurography (MRN).
In 20 patients with AINS and 20 age- and sex-matched controls, MRN of median nerve fascicles was performed at 3T with large longitudinal anatomical coverage (upper arm/elbow/forearm): 135 contiguous axial slices (T2-weighted: echo time/repetition time 52/7,020 ms, time of acquisition: 15 minutes 48 seconds, in-plane resolution: 0.25 × 0.25 mm). Lesion classification was performed by visual inspection and by quantitative analysis of normalized T2 signal after segmentation of median nerve voxels.
In all patients and no controls, T2 lesions of individual fascicles were observed within upper arm median nerve trunk and strictly followed a somatotopic/internal topography: affected were those motor fascicles that will form the anterior interosseous nerve further distally while other fascicles were spared. Predominant lesion focus was at a mean distance of 14.6 ± 5.4 cm proximal to the humeroradial joint. Discriminative power of quantitative T2 signal analysis and of qualitative lesion rating was high, with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity (p < 0.0001). Fascicular T2 lesion patterns were rated as multifocal (n = 17), monofocal (n = 2), or indeterminate (n = 1) by 2 independent observers with strong agreement (kappa = 0.83).
It has been difficult to prove the existence of fascicular/partial nerve lesions in spontaneous neuropathies using clinical and electrophysiologic findings. With MRN, fascicular lesions with strict somatotopic organization were observed in upper arm median nerve trunks of patients with AINS. Our data strongly support that AINS in the majority of cases is not a surgically treatable entrapment neuropathy but a multifocal mononeuropathy selectively involving, within the main trunk of the median nerve, the motor fascicles that continue distally to form the anterior interosseous nerve.
PMCID: PMC3963415  PMID: 24415574
5.  Rationale for treating oedema in Duchenne muscular dystrophy with eplerenone 
Acta Myologica  2012;31(1):31-39.
Recently we reported a cytoplasmic sodium overload to cause a severe osmotic oedema in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Our results suggested that this dual overload of sodium ions and water precedes the dystrophic process and persists until fatty muscle degeneration is complete. The present paper addresses the questions as to whether these overloads are important for the pathogenesis of the disease, and if so, whether they can be treated. As a first step, we investigated the effects of various diuretic drugs on a cell model of DMD, i.e. rat diaphragm strips previously exposed to amphotericin B. We found that both carbonic anhydrase inhibitors and aldosterone antagonists were able to repolarise depolarised muscle fibres. Since carbonic anhydrase inhibitors are known to have acidifying effects and this might be detrimental to the ventilation of DMD patients, we mainly concentrated on the modern spironolactone derivative, eplerenone. This drug had a very high repolarizing power, the parameter considered by us as being most relevant for a beneficial effect. In a pilot study we administered this drug to a 22-yr-old female DMD patient who was bound to an electric wheelchair and has had no corticosteroid therapy before. Eplerenone decreased both cytoplasmic sodium and water overload and increased muscle strength and mobility. We conclude that eplerenone has beneficial effects on DMD muscle. In our opinion the cytoplasmic oedema is cytotoxic and should be treated before fatty degeneration takes place.
PMCID: PMC3440802  PMID: 22655515
Duchenne muscular dystrophy; eplerenone; cytotoxic oedema

Results 1-5 (5)