In our study published in Lancet Neurology, we delved into the pathophysiology of anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis by utilizing patient-derived monoclonal antibodies against the NR1 subunit of the NMDAR in experimental murine models.

Two groups of mice were involved in our investigation: adults injected with human NR1 antibodies and a new model with in utero exposure to these antibodies. Both groups exhibited impaired functional connectivity within the hippocampus, akin to patterns observed in human NMDAR encephalitis patients.

This research establishes a crucial link between human and murine systems, facilitating translational studies to uncover the biological mechanisms of NMDAR encephalitis. The method’s application, alongside imaging and histopathological analyses, holds potential for non-invasive monitoring of disease activity and treatment responses in autoimmune encephalitis. Our work contributes to a better understanding of the condition and may guide future therapeutic approaches.

Read the paper here [pdf]

 

Source: Kuchling J, Jurek B, Kents M, Kreye J, Geis C, Wickel J, Mueller S, Koch SP, Boehm-Sturm P, Prüss H, Finke C. Impaired functional connectivity of the hippocampus in translational murine models of NMDA-receptor antibody associated neuropsychiatric pathology. Mol Psychiatry. 2023 Oct 24.