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Background: Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis is a recently discovered autoimmune syndrome associated with psychosis, dyskinesia, and seizures. However, the underlying mechanisms of this disease remain unclear, in part because of a lack of suitable animal models. Methods: This study describes a novel female C57BL/6 mouse model of anti-NMDAR encephalitis that was induced by active immunization against NMDARs using an amino terminal domain (ATD) peptide from the GluN1 subunit (GluN1356–385). Results: Twelve weeks after immunization, the immunized mice showed significant memory loss. Furthermore, antibodies from the cerebrospinal fluid of immunized mice decreased the surface NMDAR cluster density in hippocampal neurons which was similar to the effect induced by the anti-NMDAR encephalitis patients’ antibodies. Immunization also impaired long-term potentiation at Schaffer collateral–CA1 synapses and reduced NMDAR-induced calcium influx. Conclusion: We established a novel anti-NMDAR encephalitis model using active immunization with peptide GluN1356–385 targeting the ATD of GluN1. This novel model may allow further research into the pathogenesis of anti-NMDAR encephalitis and aid in the development of new therapies for this disease.
Ding, Y., Zhou, Z., Chen, J., Peng, Y., Wang, H., Qiu, W., … Wang, H. (2021). Anti-NMDAR encephalitis induced in mice by active immunization with a peptide from the amino-terminal domain of the GluN1 subunit. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12974-021-02107-0