Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Exp Med. 2007 Dec 24;204(13):3221-34. Epub 2007 Dec 3.

Antiribosomal-P autoantibodies from psychiatric lupus target a novel neuronal surface protein causing calcium influx and apoptosis.

Author information

Departamento de Inmunología Clínica y Reumatología, Facultad de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 8330025, Chile.


The interesting observation was made 20 years ago that psychotic manifestations in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus are associated with the production of antiribosomal-P protein (anti-P) autoantibodies. Since then, the pathogenic role of anti-P antibodies has attracted considerable attention, giving rise to long-term controversies as evidence has either contradicted or confirmed their clinical association with lupus psychosis. Furthermore, a plausible mechanism supporting an anti-P-mediated neuronal dysfunction is still lacking. We show that anti-P antibodies recognize a new integral membrane protein of the neuronal cell surface. In the brain, this neuronal surface P antigen (NSPA) is preferentially distributed in areas involved in memory, cognition, and emotion. When added to brain cellular cultures, anti-P antibodies caused a rapid and sustained increase in calcium influx in neurons, resulting in apoptotic cell death. In contrast, astrocytes, which do not express NSPA, were not affected. Injection of anti-P antibodies into the brain of living rats also triggered neuronal death by apoptosis. These results demonstrate a neuropathogenic potential of anti-P antibodies and contribute a mechanistic basis for psychiatric lupus. They also provide a molecular target for future exploration of this and other psychiatric diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center