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J Pediatr. 1999 May;134(5):607-13.

Serum autoantibodies to brain in Landau-Kleffner variant, autism, and other neurologic disorders.

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  • 1Departments of Neurology and Pediatrics, Washington University, St. Louis Children's Hospital, St Louis, Missouri, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Etiologically unexplained disorders of language and social development have often been reported to improve in patients treated with immune-modulating regimens. Here we determined the frequency of autoantibodies to brain among such children.

DESIGN:

We collected sera from a cohort of children with (1) pure Landau-Kleffner syndrome (n = 2), (2) Landau-Kleffner syndrome variant (LKSV, n = 11), and (3) autistic spectrum disorder (ASD, n = 11). None had received immune-modulating treatment before the serum sample was obtained. Control sera (n = 71) were from 29 healthy children, 22 with non-neurologic illnesses (NNIs), and 20 children with other neurologic disorders (ONDs). We identified brain autoantibodies by immunostaining of human temporal cortex and antinuclear autoantibodies using commercially available kits.

RESULTS:

IgG anti-brain autoantibodies were present in 45% of sera from children with LKSV, 27% with ASD, and 10% with ONDs compared with 2% from healthy children and control children with NNIs. IgM autoantibodies were present in 36% of sera from children with ASD, 9% with LKSV, and 15% with ONDs compared with 0% of control sera. Labeling studies identified one antigenic target to be endothelial cells. Antinuclear antibodies with titers >/=1:80 were more common in children with ASD and control children with ONDs.

CONCLUSION:

Children with LKSV and ASD have a greater frequency of serum antibodies to brain endothelial cells and to nuclei than children with NNIs or healthy children. The presence of these antibodies raises the possibility that autoimmunity plays a role in the pathogenesis of language and social developmental abnormalities in a subset of children with these disorders.

PMID:
10228297
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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