Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

The 51st Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Neurology

Humoral and cellular immune responses in neuromyelitis optica

Izumi Kawachi, M.D., Ph.D.

Department of Neurology, Brain Research Institute, Niigata University

Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an inflammatory and demyelinating syndrome characterized by severe attacks of myelitis and optic neuritis. A crucial role for humoral immunity in the NMO pathogenesis has been suggested by the detection of a highly specific serum autoantibody NMO immunoglobulin G that binds to aquaporin-4 (AQP4) water channels, and the pronounced deposition of immunoglobulins colocalizing with products of complement activation in a vasculocentric pattern around thickened hyalinized blood vessels in NMO lesions. Moreover, we have recently demonstrated that levels of several cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1β are increased in the cerebrospinal fluid of NMO patients, and the peripheral white matter-demyelinating cord lesions of NMO were accompanied by infiltration of lymphocytes in the leptomeningeal membrane. These cellular elements in patients with NMO might aid B cells and plasma cells in AQP4 antibody production, and break the blood-brain barrier due to the access of AQP4 antibodies to the extracellular domain of AQP4 at the astrocytic foot process.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (165K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 50: 873|874, 2010)
key words: Neuromyelitis optica, water channel aquaporin-4, humoral immunity, cellular immunity

(Received: 21-May-10)