Expires: March 1, 2020
This webinar will provide an overview of novel biomarker discoveries and advances being made in the study of autoimmune gliopathies. Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) spectrum disorders, considered under the umbrella term, “autoimmune aquaporin-4 channelopathy,” represent an evolving spectrum of central nervous system (CNS) inflammatory autoimmune demyelinating diseases for which a specific antigen has been identified—the astrocytic water channel protein called aquaporin-4 (AQP4). The discovery of AQP4-IgG represents a significant shift from emphasis on the oligodendrocyte and myelin to the astrocyte, and it was the first proven autoimmune gliopathy biomarker.
Continued progress in our understanding of the immunobiology of AQP4 autoimmunity necessitates continuing revision of the clinical diagnostic criteria for NMO spectrum disorders. As the clinical spectrum broadens, the importance of highly specific assays that detect pathogenic AQP4-IgG-targeting extracellular epitopes of AQP4 cannot be overemphasized. IgG-targeting myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG), when detected using cell-based assays expressing recombinant MOG, is now recognized as a biomarker of an autoimmune oligodendrogliopathy (distinct from multiple sclerosis) considered an autoimmune “MOG-opathy.” Also, recently, our group reported a novel immunopathological biomarker, the GFAP antibody, which when detected in CSF, unifies a spectrum of immunotherapy-responsive autoimmune inflammatory CNS disorders termed, “autoimmune GFAP astrocytopathy” distinct from infectious meningoencephalitis and idiopathic inflammatory CNS disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, vasculitis, and sarcoidosis.