IntroductionThe pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus (NPSLE) is widely unknown, and the role of autoantibodies is still undetermined. MethodsTo identify brain-reactive autoantibodies possibly related to NPSLE, immunofluorescence (IF) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) on rat and human brains were performed. ELISA was used to reveal the presence of known circulating autoantibodies, while western blot (WB) was applied to characterize potential unknown autoantigen(s). ResultsWe enrolled 209 subjects, including patients affected by SLE (n=69), NPSLE (n=36), Multiple Sclerosis (MS, n=22), and 82 age- and gender-matched healthy donors (HD). Autoantibody reactivity by IF was observed in almost the entire rat brain (cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum) using sera from NPSLE and SLE patients and was virtually negative in MS and HD. NPSLE showed higher prevalence (OR 2.4; p = 0.047), intensity, and titer of brain-reactive autoantibodies than SLE patients. Most of the patient sera with brain-reactive autoantibodies (75%) also stained human brains. Double staining experiments on rat brains mixing patients' sera with antibodies directed against neuronal (NeuN) or glial markers showed autoantibody reactivity restricted to NeuN-containing neurons. Using TEM, the targets of brain-reactive autoantibodies were located in the nuclei and, to a lesser extent, in the cytoplasm and mitochondria. Given the high degree of colocalization between NeuN and brain-reactive autoantibodies, we assumed NeuN was a possible autoantigen. However, WB analysis with HEK293T cell lysates expressing or not expressing the gene encoding for NeuN protein (RIBFOX3) showed that patients' sera carrying brain-reactive autoantibodies did not recognize the NeuN corresponding band size. Among the panel of NPSLE-associated autoantibodies (e.g., anti-NR2, anti-P-ribosomal protein, antiphospholipid) investigated by ELISA assay, only the anti-& beta;2-glycoprotein-I (a & beta;2GPI) IgG was exclusively found in those sera containing brain-reactive autoantibodies. ConclusionIn conclusion, SLE and NPSLE patients possess brain-reactive autoantibodies but with higher frequency and titers found in NPSLE patients. Although many target antigens of brain-reactive autoantibodies are still undetermined, they likely include & beta;2GPI.

Brain-reactive autoantibodies in neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus

Cocco, Cristina
Investigation
;
Manca, Elias
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Angioni, Maria Maddalena
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Noli, Barbara;Congia, Mattia;Loy, Francesco;Isola, Michela;Chessa, Elisabetta
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Floris, Alberto
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Lorefice, Lorena;Saba, Luca;Mathieu, Alessandro;Ferri, Gian Luca;Cauli, Alberto;Piga, Matteo
2023-01-01

Abstract

IntroductionThe pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus (NPSLE) is widely unknown, and the role of autoantibodies is still undetermined. MethodsTo identify brain-reactive autoantibodies possibly related to NPSLE, immunofluorescence (IF) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) on rat and human brains were performed. ELISA was used to reveal the presence of known circulating autoantibodies, while western blot (WB) was applied to characterize potential unknown autoantigen(s). ResultsWe enrolled 209 subjects, including patients affected by SLE (n=69), NPSLE (n=36), Multiple Sclerosis (MS, n=22), and 82 age- and gender-matched healthy donors (HD). Autoantibody reactivity by IF was observed in almost the entire rat brain (cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum) using sera from NPSLE and SLE patients and was virtually negative in MS and HD. NPSLE showed higher prevalence (OR 2.4; p = 0.047), intensity, and titer of brain-reactive autoantibodies than SLE patients. Most of the patient sera with brain-reactive autoantibodies (75%) also stained human brains. Double staining experiments on rat brains mixing patients' sera with antibodies directed against neuronal (NeuN) or glial markers showed autoantibody reactivity restricted to NeuN-containing neurons. Using TEM, the targets of brain-reactive autoantibodies were located in the nuclei and, to a lesser extent, in the cytoplasm and mitochondria. Given the high degree of colocalization between NeuN and brain-reactive autoantibodies, we assumed NeuN was a possible autoantigen. However, WB analysis with HEK293T cell lysates expressing or not expressing the gene encoding for NeuN protein (RIBFOX3) showed that patients' sera carrying brain-reactive autoantibodies did not recognize the NeuN corresponding band size. Among the panel of NPSLE-associated autoantibodies (e.g., anti-NR2, anti-P-ribosomal protein, antiphospholipid) investigated by ELISA assay, only the anti-& beta;2-glycoprotein-I (a & beta;2GPI) IgG was exclusively found in those sera containing brain-reactive autoantibodies. ConclusionIn conclusion, SLE and NPSLE patients possess brain-reactive autoantibodies but with higher frequency and titers found in NPSLE patients. Although many target antigens of brain-reactive autoantibodies are still undetermined, they likely include & beta;2GPI.
2023
Autoantibodies; Brain; Immunofluorescence; Neurons; Neuropsychiatric syndromes; Systemic lupus erythematosus
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/376303
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