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IgG marker of optic-spinal multiple sclerosis binds to the aquaporin-4 water channel.

  • Author(s): Lennon, Vanda A;
  • Kryzer, Thomas J;
  • Pittock, Sean J;
  • Verkman, AS;
  • Hinson, Shannon R
  • et al.
Abstract

Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease that selectively affects optic nerves and spinal cord. It is considered a severe variant of multiple sclerosis (MS), and frequently is misdiagnosed as MS, but prognosis and optimal treatments differ. A serum immunoglobulin G autoantibody (NMO-IgG) serves as a specific marker for NMO. Here we show that NMO-IgG binds selectively to the aquaporin-4 water channel, a component of the dystroglycan protein complex located in astrocytic foot processes at the blood-brain barrier. NMO may represent the first example of a novel class of autoimmune channelopathy.

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