Review published by Daniel

Autoimmunity and NMDA receptor in brain disorders: Where do we stand?

Daniel Hunter, Syn2Psy ESR6, is the first author of a review recently published on the journal Neurobiology of Disease, on autoimmunity and NMDA receptor in brain disorders.

Abstract: Over the past decades, the identification of autoimmune encephalitis in which patients express autoantibodies directed against neurotransmitter receptors has generated great hope to shed new light on the molecular mechanisms underpinning neurological and psychiatric conditions. Among these autoimmune encephalitides, the discovery of autoantibodies directed against the glutamatergic NMDA receptor (NMDAR-Ab), in the anti-NMDAR encephalitis, has provided some key information on how complex neuropsychiatric symptoms can be caused by a deficit in NMDAR signalling. Yet, NMDAR-Abs have also been detected in several neurological and psychiatric conditions, as well as in healthy individuals. In addition, these various NMDAR-Abs appear to have different molecular properties and pathogenicities onto receptors and synaptic functions. Here, we discuss the current view on the variety of NMDAR-Abs and, in particular, how these autoantibodies can lead to receptor dysfunction in neuronal networks. Since our mechanistic understanding on patients’ NMDAR-Abs is still in its infancy, several complementary processes can be proposed and further in-depth molecular and cellular investigations will surely reveal key insights. Autoantibodies represent a great opportunity to gain knowledge on the etiology of neuropsychiatric disorders and pave the way for innovative therapeutic strategies.

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