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Change in autoantibody and cytokine responses during the evolution of neuromyelitis optica in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: A preliminary study

Mult Scler. 2015 Oct 29. pii: 1352458515613165. [Epub ahead of print]

Authors/Editors: Kovacs KT, Kalluri SR, Boza-Serrano A, Deierborg T, Csepany T, Simo M, Rokusz L, Miseta A, Alcaraz N, Czirjak L, Berki T, Molnar T, Hemmer B, Illes Z.
Publication Date: 2015


Neuromyelitis optica (NMO)-systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) association is a rare condition characterized by multiple autoantibodies.

To examine if, during the evolution of NMO, anti-AQP4 responses are part of polyclonal B cell activation, and if T cell responses contribute.

In 19 samples of six patients who developed NMO during SLE, we examined the correlation of AQP4-IgG1 and IgM with (i) anti-MOG IgG and IgM, (ii) anti-nuclear, anti-nucleosome and anti-dsDNA IgG antibodies, (iii) cytokines and chemokines in the serum and (iv) longitudinal relation to NMO relapses/remission.

AQP4-IgG1 was present 1-2-5 years before the first NMO relapse. During relapse, AQP4-IgG1, ANA, anti-dsDNA and anti-nucleosome antibodies were elevated. Anti-MOG IgG/IgM and AQP4-IgM antibodies were not detected. AQP4-IgG1 antibodies correlated with concentration of anti-nucleosome, IFN-γ, interferon-gamma-induced CCL10/IP-10 and CCL17/TARC (p<0.05, respectively). CCL17/TARC correlated with levels of anti-nucleosome and anti-dsDNA (p<0.05, respectively). Compared to healthy subjects, concentration of IFN-γ and CCL17/TARC was higher in NMO/SLE (p<0.05).

AQP4-IgG1 antibodies are present in the sera years before the first NMO attack in patients with SLE; elevation of anti-AQP4 is part of a polyclonal B cell response during NMO relapses; in spite of multiple autoantibodies in the serum, MOG antibodies were not present; Th1 responses accompany autoantibody responses in NMO/SLE.

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