A wide range of clinical presentations including neuromuscular disorders and autoimmune encephalopathies is being recognized to be associated with various autoantibodies. Glycine receptor (GlyR) antibodies have so far been found mainly in adult patients with phenotypes comprising progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus or stiff-person syndrome. We report a four-year-old boy who presented with a two-year-history of drug-resistant focal epilepsy with unusual seizure semiology, temper tantrums, headache, clumsiness, and intermittently impaired speech. While MRI and CSF were normal, screening for autoimmune antibodies revealed GlyR antibodies in serum. Immunomodulatory treatment with steroids resulted in rapid and complete resolution of symptoms. Our observation widens the spectrum of clinical presentations associated with GlyR antibodies and emphasizes the potential relevance of neuronal autoantibodies in epilepsies of unknown cause in children as well as in adults.
We present a novel highly efficient protocol to magnetically label T cells applying electrostatically stabilized very small superparamagnetic iron oxide particles (VSOP). Our long-term aim is to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate T cell dynamics in vivo during the course of neuroinflammatory disorders such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis. Encephalitogenic T cells were co-incubated with VSOP, or with protamine-complexed VSOP (VProt), respectively, at different conditions, optimizing concentrations and incubation times. Labeling efficacy was determined by atomic absorption spectrometry as well as histologically, and evaluated on a 7?T MR system. Furthermore, we investigated possible alterations of T cell physiology caused by the labeling procedure. T cell co-incubation with VSOP resulted in an efficient cellular iron uptake. T2 times of labeled cells dropped significantly, resulting in prominent hypointensity on T2*-weighted scans. Optimal labeling efficacy was achieved by VProt (1?mM Fe/ml, 8?h incubation; T2 time shortening of ?80% compared to untreated cells). Although VSOP promoted T cell proliferation and altered the ratio of T cell subpopulations toward a CD4(+) phenotype, no effects on CD4 T cell proliferation or phenotypic stability were observed by labeling in vitro differentiated Th17 cells with VProt. Yet, high concentrations of intracellular iron oxide might induce alterations in T cell function, which should be considered in cell tagging studies. Moreover, we demonstrated that labeling of encephalitogenic T cells did not affect pathogenicity; labeled T cells were still capable of inducing EAE in susceptible recipient mice.
Circumventricular organs (CVO) are cerebral areas with incomplete endothelial blood-brain barrier (BBB) and therefore regarded as "gates to the brain". During inflammation, they may exert an active role in determining immune cell recruitment into the brain.
The detection of pathological tissue alterations by manual palpation is a simple but essential diagnostic tool, which has been applied by physicians since the beginnings of medicine. Recently, the virtual "palpation" of the brain has become feasible using magnetic resonance elastography, which quantifies biomechanical properties of the brain parenchyma by analyzing the propagation of externally elicited shear waves. However, the precise molecular and cellular patterns underlying changes of viscoelasticity measured by magnetic resonance elastography have not been investigated up to date. We assessed changes of viscoelasticity in a murine model of multiple sclerosis, inducing reversible demyelination by feeding the copper chelator cuprizone, and correlated our results with detailed histological analyses, comprising myelination, extracellular matrix alterations, immune cell infiltration and axonal damage. We show firstly that the magnitude of the complex shear modulus decreases with progressive demyelination and global extracellular matrix degradation, secondly that the loss modulus decreases faster than the dynamic modulus during the destruction of the corpus callosum, and finally that those processes are reversible after remyelination.
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