Converging synaptic and network dysfunctions in distinct autoimmune encephalitis

Daniel Hunter, Mar Petit-Pedrol, Dominique Fernandes, Nathan Bénac, Catarina Rodrigues, Jakob Kreye, Mihai Ceanga, Harald Prüss, Christian Geis, Laurent Groc
EMBO Rep. 2024-01-22; :
DOI: 10.1038/s44319-024-00056-2

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AbstractPsychiatric and neurological symptoms, as well as cognitive deficits, represent a prominent phenotype associated with variable forms of autoimmune encephalitis, regardless of the neurotransmitter receptor targeted by autoantibodies. The mechanistic underpinnings of these shared major neuropsychiatric symptoms remain however unclear. Here, we investigate the impacts of patient-derived monoclonal autoantibodies against the glutamatergic NMDAR (NMDAR mAb) and inhibitory GABAaR (GABAaR mAb) signalling in the hippocampal network. Unexpectedly, both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic receptor membrane dynamics, content and transmissions are altered by NMDAR or GABAaR mAb, irrespective of the affinity or antagonistic effect of the autoantibodies. The effect of NMDAR mAb on inhibitory synapses and GABAaR mAb on excitatory synapses requires neuronal activity and involves protein kinase signalling. At the cell level, both autoantibodies increase the excitation/inhibition balance of principal cell inputs. Furthermore, NMDAR or GABAaR mAb leads to hyperactivation of hippocampal networks through distinct alterations of principal cell and interneuron properties. Thus, autoantibodies targeting excitatory NMDAR or inhibitory GABAaR trigger convergent network dysfunctions through a combination of shared and distinct mechanisms.

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus