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Increased immune complexes of hypocretin autoantibodies in narcolepsy.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Hypocretin peptides participate in the regulation of sleep-wake cycle while deficiency in hypocretin signaling and loss of hypocretin neurons are causative for narcolepsy-cataplexy. However, the mechanism responsible for alteration of the hypocretin system in narcolepsy-cataplexy and its relevance to other central hypersomnias remain unknown. Here we studied whether central hypersomnias can be associated with autoantibodies reacting with hypocretin-1 peptide present as immune complexes. METHODOLOGY: Serum levels of free and dissociated (total) autoantibodies reacting with hypocretin-1 peptide were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and analyzed with regard to clinical parameters in 82 subjects with narcolepsy-cataplexy, narcolepsy without cataplexy or idiopathic hypersomnia and were compared to 25 healthy controls. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Serum levels of total but not free IgG autoantibodies against hypocretin-1 were increased in narcolepsy-cataplexy. Increased levels of complexed IgG autoantibodies against hypocretin-1 were found in all patients groups with a further increase in narcolepsy-cataplexy. Levels of total IgM hypocretin-1 autoantibodies were also elevated in all groups of patients. Increased levels of anti-idiotypic IgM autoantibodies reacting with hypocretin-1 IgG autoantibodies affinity purified from sera of subjects with narcolepsy-cataplexy were found in all three groups of patients. Disease duration correlated negatively with serum levels of hypocretin-1 IgG and IgM autoantibodies and with anti-idiotypic IgM autoantibodies. CONCLUSION: Central hypersomnias and particularly narcolepsy-cataplexy are characterized by higher serum levels of autoantibodies directed against hypocretin-1 which are present as immune complexes most likely with anti-idiotypic autoantibodies suggesting their relevance to the mechanism of sleep-wake cycle regulation.
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Aude Deloumeau, Sophie Bayard, Quentin Coquerel, Pierre Déchelotte, Christine Bole-Feysot, et al.. Increased immune complexes of hypocretin autoantibodies in narcolepsy.. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2010, 5 (10), pp.e13320. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0013320⟩. ⟨inserm-00678304⟩

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