Type IIa ('anti-Hu') antineuronal antibodies produce destruction of rat cerebellar granule neurons in vitro

John E. Greenlee, Thomas N. Parks, Kurt A. Jaeckle

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94 Scopus citations


We reacted dispersed cultures of newborn rat cerebellar granule cells with serum, purified IgG, and CSF from patients with type IIa ("anti-Hu") antibody response accompanying paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes. All type IIa sera, IgGs, and CSFs, but not those of normal or cancer controls, produced bright nuclear immunofluorescence of cultured granule neurons. Type IIa serum and CSF labeled proteins of 35-42 kd in rat granule cell blots, identical in molecular weight to proteins labeled by type IIa antibodies in blots of human granule cells. IgGs eluted from the 35-42 kd band in blots of rat granule cells labeled proteins of similar molecular weights in blots of human granule cells and produced typical type IIa immunostaining of human cerebellar sections. Human IgG could be identified in nuclei and cytoplasm of neurons incubated for 72 hours with 2/4 type IIa sera tested, but not with normal sera. Type lia sera or IgGs from 4/7 patients produced specific lysis of rat granule cells in the presence of complement, as compared with controls using normal serum or heat-inactivated complement. Prolonged (7-day) incubation of cultures with type IIa antibody without complement also resulted in specific lysis, whereas incubation with normal serum or serum from neurologically normal patients with small-cell carcinoma of the lung did not. Rat granule cell cultures provide a valuable in vitro system with which to study the interaction of type IIa antibody with neurons. The present study provides the first reported evidence that type IIa antibodies may cause cell injury directly, in the absence of lymphocyte-mediated immune response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2049-2054
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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