Publications by authors named "Stefanie Brakopp"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Contactin-1 autoimmunity: Serologic, neurologic, and pathologic correlates.

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2020 07 27;7(4). Epub 2020 May 27.

From the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Neurology and Immunology (D.D., J.A.H., S.S., C.J.K., J.R.M., V.A.L., S.J.P., A.M.); Department of Neurology (D.D., J.A.H., S.S., C.J.K., J.R.M., V.A.L., S.J.P., A.M.), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; and Euroimmun (L.K., S.B., C.P.), Lubeck, Germany.

Objective: To determine serologic characteristics, frequency, phenotype, paraneoplastic associations, and electrodiagnostic and histopathologic features accompanying contactin-1 autoimmunity.

Methods: Archived sera known to produce synaptic tissue-based immunofluorescence patterns were reevaluated, and contactin-1 specificity was confirmed by recombinant protein assays. Screening of 233 chronic/relapsing demyelinating neuropathies for additional cases was performed.

Results: We identified 10 contactin-1 IgG seropositive cases. Frequency of contactin-1 immunoglobulin (Ig) G among tested Mayo Clinic chronic/relapsing demyelinating neuropathies was 2%. Sensory predominant presentations (n = 9, 90%), neuropathic pain (n = 6, 60%), and subacute progression (n = 5, 50%) were commonly encountered among contactin-1 neuropathies. Two patients had chronic immune sensory polyradiculopathy-like phenotype at presentation. Electrodiagnostic studies were consistent with demyelination (slowed conduction velocities and/or prolonged distal latencies) without conduction block. Markedly elevated CSF protein (median 222 mg/dL, range 69-960 mg/dL), thickening/gadolinium enhancement of nerve roots (4/5), and subperineural edema on nerve biopsy (4/4) were other characteristic features. Three cases were diagnosed with paraneoplastic demyelinating neuropathies (thymoma, n = 1; breast cancer, n = 1; plasmacytoma, n = 1). Four of the 9 patients treated with IV immunoglobulin demonstrated initial clinical improvement, but the favorable response was sustained in only 1 case (median follow-up, 60 months). Sustained clinical stabilization or improvement was observed among 3 of the 6 cases in whom second-line therapies (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, and azathioprine) were used.

Conclusion: Contactin-1 IgG has a distinct sensory predominant presentation commonly associated with neuropathic pain, with demyelinating changes on electrophysiologic studies. A paraneoplastic cause should be considered. Testing of contactin-1 IgG among cases with similar presentations may guide immunotherapy selection, especially second-line immunotherapy consideration.
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July 2020

Neurochondrin is a neuronal target antigen in autoimmune cerebellar degeneration.

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2017 Jan 5;4(1):e307. Epub 2016 Dec 5.

Institute of Experimental Immunology (R.M., M. Scharf, I.M.D., S.M., Y.D., B.T., C.P., S.B., W.S., L.K.), Euroimmun AG, Lübeck; Department of Neurology (C.C.G., K.S.G., M.H., U.B., A.S.-M., K.B., C.S., H.L., M.D., T.W., H.W., S.G.M., N.M.), University of Münster; Centre for Neurology and Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research (L.S., M. Synofzik), Tübingen; German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) (L.S., M. Synofzik), Tübingen; and Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Department of Neurology (K.-P.W.), University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, Lübeck, Germany.

Objective: To report on a novel neuronal target antigen in 3 patients with autoimmune cerebellar degeneration.

Methods: Three patients with subacute to chronic cerebellar ataxia and controls underwent detailed clinical and neuropsychological assessment together with quantitative high-resolution structural MRI. Sera and CSF were subjected to comprehensive autoantibody screening by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and immunoblot. Immunoprecipitation with lysates of hippocampus and cerebellum combined with mass spectrometric analysis was used to identify the autoantigen, which was verified by recombinant expression in HEK293 cells and use in several immunoassays. Multiparameter flow cytometry was performed on peripheral blood and CSF, and peripheral blood was subjected to T-cell receptor spectratyping.

Results: Patients presented with a subacute to chronic cerebellar and brainstem syndrome. MRI was consistent with cortical and cerebellar gray matter atrophy associated with subsequent neuroaxonal degeneration. IFA screening revealed strong immunoglobulin G1 reactivity in sera and CSF with hippocampal and cerebellar molecular and granular layers, but not with a panel of 30 recombinantly expressed established neural autoantigens. Neurochondrin was subsequently identified as the target antigen, verified by IFA and immunoblot with HEK293 cells expressing human neurochondrin as well as the ability of recombinant neurochondrin to neutralize the autoantibodies' tissue reaction. Immune phenotyping revealed intrathecal accumulation and activation of B and T cells during the acute but not chronic phase of the disease. T-cell receptor spectratyping suggested an antigen-specific T-cell response accompanying the formation of antineurochondrin autoantibodies. No such neurochondrin reactivity was found in control cohorts of various neural autoantibody-associated neurologic syndromes, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, cerebellar type of multiple system atrophy, hereditary cerebellar ataxias, other neurologic disorders, or healthy donors.

Conclusion: Neurochondrin is a neuronal target antigen in autoimmune cerebellar degeneration.
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January 2017

Autoantibodies against glutamate receptor δ2 after allogenic stem cell transplantation.

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2016 Aug 14;3(4):e255. Epub 2016 Jul 14.

Institute of Experimental Immunology (R.M., S.H., I.M.D., S.M., Y.D., S.B., B.T., C.P., W.S., L.K.), Euroimmun AG, Lübeck; Department of Neurology (T.R., M.M., C.T.), Asklepios Klinik St. Georg, Hamburg; Department of Neurology (N.M.), University of Münster; and Department of Neurology (H.-M.M.), University of Heidelberg, Germany.

Objective: To report on a Caucasian patient who developed steroid-responsive transverse myelitis, graft vs host disease of the gut, and anti-GluRδ2 after allogenic stem cell transplantation.

Methods: Histoimmunoprecipitation (HIP) with the patient's serum and cryosections of rat and porcine cerebellum followed by mass spectrometry was used to identify the autoantigen. Correct identification was verified by indirect immunofluorescence using recombinant GluRδ2 expressed in HEK293 cells.

Results: The patient's serum produced a granular staining of the cerebellar molecular layer (immunoglobulin G1 and immunoglobulin G3; endpoint titer: 1:1,000) but did not react with other CNS tissues or 28 established recombinant neural autoantigens. HIP revealed a unique protein band at ∼110 kDa that was identified as GluRδ2. The patient's serum also stained GluRδ2 transfected but not mock-transfected HEK293 cells. Control sera from 38 patients with multiple sclerosis, 85 patients with other neural autoantibodies, and 205 healthy blood donors were negative for anti-GluRδ2. Preadsorption with lysate from HEK293-GluRδ2 neutralized the patient's tissue reaction whereas control lysate had no effect. In addition to anti-GluRδ2, the patient's serum contained immunoglobulin G autoantibodies against the pancreatic glycoprotein CUZD1, which are known to be markers of Crohn disease.

Conclusions: In the present case, the development of anti-GluRδ2 was associated with transverse myelitis, which was supposedly triggered by the stem cell transplantation. Similar to encephalitis in conjunction with anti-GluRδ2 reported in a few Japanese patients, the patient's neurologic symptoms ameliorated after steroid therapy.
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August 2016

Caspase-1-dependent and -independent cell death pathways in Burkholderia pseudomallei infection of macrophages.

PLoS Pathog 2014 Mar 13;10(3):e1003986. Epub 2014 Mar 13.

Friedrich Loeffler Institute of Medical Microbiology, University Medicine Greifswald, Greifswald, Germany.

The cytosolic pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei and causative agent of melioidosis has been shown to regulate IL-1β and IL-18 production through NOD-like receptor NLRP3 and pyroptosis via NLRC4. Downstream signalling pathways of those receptors and other cell death mechanisms induced during B. pseudomallei infection have not been addressed so far in detail. Furthermore, the role of B. pseudomallei factors in inflammasome activation is still ill defined. In the present study we show that caspase-1 processing and pyroptosis is exclusively dependent on NLRC4, but not on NLRP3 in the early phase of macrophage infection, whereas at later time points caspase-1 activation and cell death is NLRC4- independent. In the early phase we identified an activation pathway involving caspases-9, -7 and PARP downstream of NLRC4 and caspase-1. Analyses of caspase-1/11-deficient infected macrophages revealed a strong induction of apoptosis, which is dependent on activation of apoptotic initiator and effector caspases. The early activation pathway of caspase-1 in macrophages was markedly reduced or completely abolished after infection with a B. pseudomallei flagellin FliC or a T3SS3 BsaU mutant. Studies using cells transfected with the wild-type and mutated T3SS3 effector protein BopE indicated also a role of this protein in caspase-1 processing. A T3SS3 inner rod protein BsaK mutant failed to activate caspase-1, revealed higher intracellular counts, reduced cell death and IL-1β secretion during early but not during late macrophage infection compared to the wild-type. Intranasal infection of BALB/c mice with the BsaK mutant displayed a strongly decreased mortality, lower bacterial loads in organs, and reduced levels of IL-1β, myeloperoxidase and neutrophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. In conclusion, our results indicate a major role for a functional T3SS3 in early NLRC4-mediated caspase-1 activation and pyroptosis and a contribution of late caspase-1-dependent and -independent cell death mechanisms in the pathogenesis of B. pseudomallei infection.
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March 2014