Research ArticleNEUROBIOLOGY

Glucose-regulated protein 78 autoantibody associates with blood-brain barrier disruption in neuromyelitis optica

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Science Translational Medicine  05 Jul 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 397, eaai9111
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aai9111

Bringing down the blood-brain barrier

Patients afflicted by neuromyelitis optica suffer from disruption of the blood-brain barrier. Shimizu et al. generated recombinant antibodies from patient cerebral spinal fluid and demonstrated that some antibodies targeting glucose-regulated protein 78 were able activate brain microvascular endothelial cells and induced protein extravasation in cell lines and in mice. These findings suggest that glucose-regulated protein 78–targeted antibodies could be instigating blood-brain barrier breakdown and development of hallmark anti–aquaporin-4 autoantibody pathology. Not only that, the application of these antibodies could help open up the blood-brain barrier for transit of treatments for many central nervous system diseases.

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