alexa Autoimmune-induced glutamatergic receptor dysfunctions: conceptual and psychiatric practice implications.


Immunome Research

Author(s): RosenthalSimons A, Durrant AR, HerescoLevy U

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Glutamatergic neurotransmission is mediated via complex receptorial systems including N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolpropionic acid (AMPA) and metabotropic receptor subtypes and plays a critical role in the modulation of synaptic plasticity, mood, cognitive processes and motor behavior. Glutamatergic function deficits are hypothesized to contribute to the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, mood and movement disorders. Accumulating data are rapidly leading to the characterization of specific types of autoimmune encephalitis in which the receptors and proteins critically involved in glutamatergic neurotransmission, e.g., NMDA, AMPA receptors, are antigen targets. Characteristic of these syndromes, antibodies alter the structure and/or function of the corresponding neuronal antigen resulting in clinical pictures that resemble pharmacological disease models. Presently the best characterized autoimmune glutamatergic disorder is anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. This disorder manifests with intertwined psychiatric and neurological features, defines a new syndrome, reclassifies poorly defined clinical states and extends previous hypotheses, such as hypo-NMDA receptor function in schizophrenia. The characterization of autoimmune-induced glutamatergic receptor dysfunctions (AGRD) is likely to have a substantial conceptual impact upon our understanding of neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, affective and movement dysfunctions. Further definition of AGRD will provide additional guidelines for psychiatric diagnoses, identification of homogeneous patient subtypes within broad phenomenological classifications and will contribute to the development of personalized treatments. The body of knowledge already accumulated on anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis highlights the need for wide dissemination of these concepts among psychiatrists, and in suspected cases, for early recognition, prompt clinical and laboratory investigation and efficient interface between mental health and medical teams.

This article was published in Eur Neuropsychopharmacol and referenced in Immunome Research

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