Research ArticleENCEPHALITIS

Autoimmune receptor encephalitis in mice induced by active immunization with conformationally stabilized holoreceptors

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Science Translational Medicine  10 Jul 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 500, eaaw0044
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaw0044

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An active model of autoimmune encephalitis

Autoantibodies targeting the neurotransmitter N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) have been found in patients with encephalitis. Although treatments reducing antibody titers have been developed, their effect is often incomplete. The lack of models recapitulating the pathophysiology of the human disease hinders the development of effective treatments. Now, Jones et al. developed a mouse model of NMDAR encephalitis using active immunization with intact NMDARs embedded in liposomes. Characterization of the model showed alterations resembling human anti-NMDAR encephalitis, including the presence of hippocampal inflammation, immune cell infiltration, and cognitive impairments. Moreover, the authors showed that the presence of T cell and B cell infiltrates is necessary for the induction of the disease.