Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.394, No.1, 205-210, 2010
Anti-aquaporin-4 antibody induces astrocytic cytotoxicity in the absence of CNS antigen-specific T cells
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS). Anti-aquaporin-4 antibody (AQP4-Ab) is a highly specific serum autoantibody that is detected in patients with NMO. Several lines of evidence indicate that AQP4-Ab not only serves as a disease marker but also plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of NMO. Although the pathogenicity of AQP4-Ab in vivo has recently been demonstrated, the presence of CNS antigen-specific T cells is recognized as a prerequisite for the antibody to exert pathogenic effects. Thus, it remains unclear whether AQP4-Ab is the primary cause of the disease or a disease-modifying factor in NMO. Here we report that pre-treatment with complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) alone is sufficient for AQP4-Ab to induce astrocytic damage in vivo. Our results show the primary pathogenic role of AQP4-Ab in the absence of CNS antigen-specific T cells, and suggest that danger signals provided by nonspecific inflammation can be a trigger for those who harbor the autoantibody to develop NMO. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.