Neuropathological criteria of anti-IgLON5-related tauopathy.

Acta Neuropathol 2016 10 29;132(4):531-43. Epub 2016 Jun 29.

Institute of Neurology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

We recently reported a novel neurological syndrome characterized by a unique NREM and REM parasomnia with sleep apnea and stridor, accompanied by bulbar dysfunction and specific association with antibodies against the neuronal cell-adhesion protein IgLON5. All patients had the HLA-DRB1*1001 and HLA-DQB1*0501 alleles. Neuropathological findings in two patients revealed a novel tauopathy restricted to neurons and predominantly involving the hypothalamus and tegmentum of the brainstem. The aim of the current study is to describe the neuropathological features of the anti-IgLON5 syndrome and to provide diagnostic levels of certainty based on the presence of associated clinical and immunological data. The brains of six patients were examined and the features required for the neuropathological diagnosis were established by consensus. Additional clinical and immunological criteria were used to define "definite", "probable" and "possible" diagnostic categories. The brains of all patients showed remarkably similar features consistent with a neurodegenerative disease with neuronal loss and gliosis and absence of inflammatory infiltrates. The most relevant finding was the neuronal accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau composed of both three-repeat (3R) and four-repeat (4R) tau isoforms, preferentially involving the hypothalamus, and more severely the tegmental nuclei of the brainstem with a cranio-caudal gradient of severity until the upper cervical cord. A "definite" diagnosis of anti-IgLON5-related tauopathy is established when these neuropathological features are present along with the detection of serum or CSF IgLON5 antibodies. When the antibody status is unknown, a "probable" diagnosis requires neuropathological findings along with a compatible clinical history or confirmation of possession of HLA-DRB1*1001 and HLA-DQB1*0501 alleles. A "possible" diagnosis should be considered in cases with compatible neuropathology but without information about a relevant clinical presentation and immunological status. These criteria should help to identify undiagnosed cases among archival tissue, and will assist future clinicopathological studies of this novel disorder.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-016-1591-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5023728PMC
October 2016
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