Article

Passive transfer of streptococcus-induced antibodies reproduces behavioral disturbances in a mouse model of pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infection.

Center for Infection and Immunity and Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Molecular Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 15.15). 09/2009; 15(7):712-26. DOI: 10.1038/mp.2009.77
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Streptococcal infections can induce obsessive-compulsive and tic disorders. In children, this syndrome, frequently associated with disturbances in attention, learning and mood, has been designated pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infection (PANDAS). Autoantibodies recognizing central nervous system (CNS) epitopes are found in sera of most PANDAS subjects, but may not be unique to this neuropsychiatric subset. In support of a humoral immune mechanism, clinical improvement often follows plasmapheresis or intravenous immunoglobulin. We recently described a PANDAS mouse model wherein repetitive behaviors correlate with peripheral anti-CNS antibodies and immune deposits in brain following streptococcal immunization. These antibodies are directed against group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus matrix (M) protein and cross-react with molecular targets complement C4 protein and alpha-2-macroglobulin in brain. Here we show additional deficits in motor coordination, learning/memory and social interaction in PANDAS mice, replicating more complex aspects of human disease. Furthermore, we demonstrate for the first time that humoral immunity is necessary and sufficient to induce the syndrome through experiments wherein naive mice are transfused with immunoglobulin G (IgG) from PANDAS mice. Depletion of IgG from donor sera abrogates behavior changes. These functional disturbances link to the autoimmunity-related IgG1 subclass but are not attributable to differences in cytokine profiles. The mode of disrupting blood-brain barrier integrity differentially affects the ultimate CNS distribution of these antibodies and is shown to be an additional important determinant of neuropsychiatric outcomes. This work provides insights into PANDAS pathogenesis and may lead to new strategies for identification and treatment of children at risk for autoimmune brain disorders.

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    ABSTRACT: The acronym PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections) has been used to describe a syndrome characterized by various obsessions, compulsions, tics, hyperactivity, motor stereotypies, and paroxysmal movement disorders that are correlated with prior infection by group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus pyogenes (GABHS) infections. Five clinical criteria can be used to diagnose PANDAS: (1) the presence of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or any other tic disorders; (2) prepuberal onset (between 3 years of age and the start of puberty); (3) abrupt onset and relapsing-remitting symptom course; (4) a distinct association with GABHS infection; and (5) association with neurological abnormalities during exacerbations (adventitious movements or motoric hyperactivity). The exact pathogenesis of PANDAS remains unclear, and several theories that focus on multiple etiologic or contributive factors have emerged. PANDAS appears to be a neurobiological disorder that potentially complicates GABHS infections in genetically susceptible individuals. The current standard of care for PANDAS patients remains symptomatic, and cognitive behavioral therapy, such as exposure and response prevention, combined with family counseling and psychoeducation, should be the first approach for treating PANDAS. This review examines current theories of PANDAS pathogenesis, identifies possible treatments for managing this complex condition, and highlights areas for future research. Moving forward, developing more standardized diagnostic criteria and identifying specific laboratory markers to facilitate PANDAS diagnoses are crucial.
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