Autoimmune neuropathies occur when immunologic tolerance to myelin or axonal antigens is lost. Even though the triggering factors and the underling immunopathology have not been fully elucidated in all neuropathy subsets, immunological studies on the patients' nerves, transfer experiments with the patients' serum or intraneural injections, and molecular fingerprinting on circulating autoantibodies or autoreactive T cells, indicate that cellular and humoral factors, either independently or in concert with each other, play a fundamental role in their cause. The review is focused on the main subtypes of autoimmune neuropathies, mainly the Guillain-Barré syndrome(s), the Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP), the Multifocal Motor Neuropathy (MMN), and the IgM anti-MAG-antibody mediated neuropathy. It addresses the factors associated with breaking tolerance, examines the T cell activation process including co-stimulatory molecules and key cytokines, and discusses the role of antibodies against peripheral nerve glycolipids or glycoproteins. Special attention is given to the newly identified proteins in the nodal, paranodal and juxtaparanodal regions as potential antigenic targets that could best explain conduction failure and rapid recovery. New biological agents against T cells, cytokines, B cells, transmigration and transduction molecules involved in their immunopathologic network, are discussed as future therapeutic options in difficult cases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Neuromuscular Diseases: Pathology and Molecular Pathogenesis.
Dalakas, M. C. (2015, April 1). Pathogenesis of immune-mediated neuropathies. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease. Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbadis.2014.06.013