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Clinical Features, Diagnosis and Immunopathogenesis of Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders

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Clinical Features, Diagnosis and Immunopathogenesis of Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders



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Clinical Features, Diagnosis and Immunopathogenesis of Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders by Koon Ho CHAN
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This dissertation, "Clinical Features, Diagnosis and Immunopathogenesis of Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders" by Koon-ho, Chan, 陳灌豪, was obtained from The University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong) and is being sold pursuant to Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License. The content of this dissertation has not been altered in any way. We have altered the formatting in order to facilitate the ease of printing and reading of the dissertation. All rights not granted by the above license are retained by the author. Abstract: Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a central nervous system inflammatory demyelinating disorders (CNS IDD) characterized by acute myelitis (AM) and optic neuritis (ON), especially clinically severe longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM) and simultaneous bilateral ON. Patients with recurrent AM especially LETM without ON, and patients with recurrent ON without AM may have disorders belonging to the spectrum of NMO, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD). NMO is likely autoimmune in nature as a significant proportion of patients are seropositive for aquaporin-4 (AQP4) autoantibodies. I studied the clinical features of local Chinese NMOSD patients and their AQP4 autoantibodies seropositivity rates of by indirect immunofluorescence using tissue slides containing primate cerebellum (tissued-based immunofluorescence assay) in patients with 1) NMO, 2) classical multiple sclerosis (CMS), 3) acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), 4) single attack or relapsing AM, 5) single attack or relapsing ON, and 6) other neurological disorders. The results showed that NMOSD are severe CNS IDD affecting patients with a wide range of onset ages. Chinese NMOSD patients predominantly have relapsing NMO and relapsing LETM with severe attack of LETM and/or ON. The six-year mortality rate of patients with NMO or relapsing myelitis with LETM was about 12%. Two-thirds of patients have poor neurological outcome at a mean duration of 6.0 years. The results confirmed that AQP4 autoantibodies are specific for NMOSD, and detection of AQP4 autoantibodies is clinically useful for early diagnosis of NMOSD and distinction from CMS. I proceeded to study a cell-based immunofluorescence assay using transfected human embryonic kidney cells overexpressing human AQP4 on cell membrane and found that cell-based assay has higher sensitivity than tissue-based assay in detection of AQP4 autoantibodies in NMO (78% versus 61%). As our NMOSD patients frequently presented clinically with severe brainstem symptoms and signs and lesions in brainstem and other brain regions on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), I studied the clinical and neuroradiological characteristics of Chinese NMOSD patients with brain involvement. I found that 59% of NMOSD patients have clinical and/or radiological evidence of brain involvement. Importantly, brainstem is the most frequently affected brain region and 24% of NMOSD patients had clinical manifestation of brainstem encephalitis. I also studied the pathogenicity of AQP4 autoantibodies in the absence of complement activation by passive transfer of IgG isolated from sera of NMOSD patients into mice pretreated with complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA, containing heat-killed mycobacterium tuberculosis) and pertussis toxin (PTx). I observed that pretreatment with CFA and PTx led to breach of BBB in mouse, and IgG isolated from sera of NMOSD patients seropositive for AQP4 autoantibodies led to asymptomatic loss of AQP4 in gray and white matter in mouse spinal cord without inflammatory cell infiltration, demyelination or astrocytic loss in the absence of complement activation (human IgG cannot activate mouse complements). My findings support that 1) AQP4 autoantibodies binding to astrocytic AQP4 per se can cause downregulation of AQP4 in the absence of complement activation, and 2) complement activation with resultant complement activation products play key roles in the inf
Release date NZ
January 26th, 2017
Created by
Country of Publication
United States
colour illustrations
Open Dissertation Press
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