Horror autotoxicus was the term foremost given to depict autoimmune diseases by Paul Ehrlich. He nevertheless believed it was impossible for the human organic structure ‘s immune system to assail itself due to the horror it would make ( 14 ) . We now know that this is non the instance. An autoimmune disease is usually caused by an inappropriate reaction of the immune system towards its ain cells. Certain subsets of T cells, coined T regulative cells, exert great control over the immune system ( 14 ) .

Unlike immunodeficiency diseases autoimmune diseases are by and large caused by polygenic mutants as opposed to individual cistron mutants, although there are exclusions ( 14 ) . Presently over 80 autoimmune diseases have been categorised ( 25 ) . In the past autoimmune diseases were classified as B or T cell mediated. Now nevertheless this categorization is no longer used as it appears both are required for autoimmunity ( 14 ) .

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Familial and environmental susceptibleness.

There is great cognition to associate both familial and environmental factors with increased susceptibleness to certain autoimmune diseases.

Many surveies have shown a higher incidence of autoimmune diseases in monozygotic twins than dizygous twins. However as mentioned above the polygenic nature of autoimmune diseases means even if person has one of the needed mutants it is improbable to be terrible as it usually required several mutants for a autoimmune response ( 27 ) . It is by and large accepted that although a individual may hold the right familial mutants for an autoimmune disease the disease tends to merely attest after a certain environmental trigger ( 27 ) . This is shown by surveies which have shown that the incidence of both Multiple induration ( MS ) and type 1 diabetes changed as the members of the population moved to different locations ( 27,28,29 ) .

Neuromyelitis Optica

Pathogenesis of Neuromyelitis optica

Neuromyelitis optica ( NMO ) is an idiopathic autoimmune upset ( 4 ) . It is an inflammatory demylinating disease of the spinal cord and ocular nervus called myelitis and ocular neuritis severally. ( 1 ) Symptoms can happen together or individually ( 22 ) . Ocular neuritis is known to do complete ocular damage with a low incidence of recovery.

( 2 ) Myelitis is more terrible as it affects the spinal cord and depending on the location of the lesions can impact a big portion of the lower organic structure doing hurting in the limbs and vesica palsy ( 1 ) . In terrible instance if the lesions travel upwards they can damage the encephalon root and cause neurogenic respiratory failure. ( 2 )


It has besides got a really high rate of backsliding, 85 % , particularly when compared to Multiple Sclerosis. ( 4 ) Women via media more than two tierces of reported instances of NMO with a average age of oncoming in the late 30 ‘s ( 20 ) , ten old ages subsequently than the mean oncoming of multiple induration ( MS ) ( 22 ) .

Recent surveies in population discrepancy have shown that the disease is far more prevailing in Asians than in Caucasians with 30 % -40 % of MS instances in Asia though to be attributed to NMO ( 36 ) . As with most autoimmune diseases at that place appears to be an copiousness of environmental triggers. Many instance surveies have been published depicting patients who had suffered from either pox, HIV type 1, Chlamydia and chickenpox, and have so gone on to develop symptoms of NMO ( 39,40,36 ) .

These are described as station infective NMO.T2-weighted ( left ) and T1-weighted ( right ) sagittal MRI of the cervical spinal and upper thoracic cord in a patient withNMO, demoing longitudinal extended transverse myelitis with swelling, mortification and additive Gdsweetening. ( 1 )

Discovery of NMO and promotion

NMO was foremost discovered in the late nineteenth century by Eugene Devic ( 21 ) . It was after sing several patients all whom suffered from loss of vision, palsies and loss of vesica control. The most dramatic features observed by Eugene Devic was that the same patients developed non organ specific autoantibody conditions. ( 3 ) The conditions were found to be a consequence of redness in the spinal cord and ocular nervus. This was discovered during post-mortems which showed immunoglobulin deposition and complement activation.

( 3 ) For many old ages after Eugene Devic recorded his findings, NMO was still erroneously classed as a subtype of multiple induration ( 1 ) . It was non until Clifford Allbutt in the late nineteenth century, studied Eugene ‘s work and associated the symptoms with a separate upset ( 12 ) .


The biggest accomplishment on NMO so far has been the find of the NMO-IgG autoantibody. It was discovered in 2004 by Lennon VA et Al ( 24 ) . They reported a sensing rate of about 75 % in patients already diagnosed with NMO and about 50 % in patients who were deemed to be high hazard. In other scientific research it has been shown to be 73 % sensitive and can separate NMO from classical MS with an truth of 91 % ( 13 ) . As NMO-IgG is quantifiable it allows for the measuring of the effectivity of intervention every bit good as disease patterned advance ( 24 ) . NMO-IgG is an autoantibody specific to the Aquaporins 4 protein found on cell surfaces in the encephalon.

Differences between NMO and MS

As mentioned above for many old ages NMO was mistaken as MS ( 1 ) , and even today many in Asia still refer to it as optic-spinal MS ( 36 ) . The chief differentiation NMO has over MS is the sensing of an autoantibody to the H2O channel protein aquaporin 4 ( 24 ) . This was merely discovered in 2004, but at that place has besides been clinical and neurological grounds back uping this theory before the find of the autoantibody.

When viewed with MRI typical MS frequently appears as widespread parts with big sums of redness in the white affair, they besides appear more normally in cerebellar and pervientricular parts ( 36,38 ) . This is contrary to NMO where the lesions are typically seen in the interbrain and really rare to happen lesions in the white affair for patients enduring from NMO ( 40 ) .

Clinical diagnosing standards

In the past the diagnosing was based on clinical features such as ; ocular neuritis, bilateral motor shortages, pain cross myelitis and many other symptoms ( 12 ) . Recently nevertheless an auto-antibody for AQP4 has been discovered and called NMO-IgG ( 6 ) .

It is significantly accurate and is now considered an accurate marker for NMO ( 12 ) .. This has lead to the belief the oncoming of disease may be caused or exacerbated by the immune system ( 1 ) . Current standards, requires the presence of both ocular neuritis and myelitis ( 4 ) ( Table 1 ) every bit good as other factors. Some believe the factors are excessively rigorous, T Sayda 2009 ( 30 ) believes this standard puts patients at injury as it disadvantages early diagnosing and reduces the possible benefit of intervention.Table: Criteria for diagnosing of NMO.

Adapted from Wingerchuck ( 2006 ) ( 4 )

Treatment of NMO and forecast

Presently intervention for NMO is still limited and similar to that used in MS ( 15 ) . There are two long term interventions widely used. These are intervention with interferon beta and immunosuppressive therapy ( 15 ) . Current research suggests that interferon intervention is significantly less effectual than immunosuppressive intervention ( 16 ) . Both interventions nevertheless still fail to hold disease development ( 15 ) . A new drug being trialed, Rituximab, is a monoclonal antibody which works against CD20+ cells and has shown promising consequences ( 17 ) . Prognosis for NMO is really hapless.

50 % of patients become wheelchair edge and 62 % become functionally blind at 5 old ages ( 15 ) . The Oklahoman the diagnosing the better the mentality for the patient. ( 23 ) . This is why qualifying the function of NMO-IgG is so critical.


Aquaporins general belongingss

Due to the find of NMO-IgG there has been increased involvement in the function of Aquaporins ( AQPs ) within the encephalon and the difference between the different isotopes. It has become progressively of import to to the full understand the maps and functions H2O channels have within the encephalon as strong grounds is emerging proposing the AQP4 molecule is targeted in NMO. ( 6 ) AQPs are a household of transmembrane molecules with 6 membrane spheres organizing a ring with a pore in the center with which H2O can be transported in both waies ( 5 ) ( figure 2 ) . The bulk of work carried out on AQPs has been done on AQP void mice.

Experiments by Song, Y. et Al ( 2002 ) ( 31 ) showed that omission of the AQP5, an AQP known for its function in perspiration secretory organ map, led to decreased volume and hypertonic fluid. In general AQPs addition H2O transport down osmotic gradients, with AQP void mice unable to concentrate piss ( 5,32 ) , and hence aid to modulate H2O motion.Figure 2: a ) Shows the monumeric construction of AQPs with the six different spheres labeled H1-H6. There is a little spread between them to let H2O molecules in and out. B ) Shows the tetrameric arrangment of AQPs, made up of 4 monomers is can let H2O molecules in and out ( 5 ) .

Discovery of Aquaporins

AQPs were ab initio discovered by Petre Agre in 1988 ( 7 ) who showed that toad oocytes which expressed AQPs, where far more susceptible to H2O lysis than thoses non showing AQPs, therefore demoing improved H2O conveyance ( 8 ) . Furthermore it has been shown that where encephalon hydrops has occurred the astrocytes associated with that country will demo increased look of AQPs on the cell surface ( 11 ) .

Therefore far over 10 different subtypes of AQP have been isolated in mammals ( 5 ) .The chief AQP in footings of copiousness in the human encephalon and importance in NMO is AQP4 ( 11 ) . Brain AQP4 is chiefly found in astrocyte pes procedures, encephalon parenchyma and major fluid compartments ( 9 ) .

M1 V M23

AQP4 is farther subdivided into an isoform of M1 and M23 ( 10 ) . The two isoforms, M1 and M23, are due to translation induction differences in the N end point of the first and 2nd methionine amino acid severally ( 18 ) . M23 is besides 3 times more abundant in the human encephalon than M1 ( 19 ) .

Functionally no differences have been noted between the 2 isoforms, nevertheless they do look to change the organisation of AQP4 on the intramembrane ( 10 ) . This is thought to be due to the M23 isoform organizing big square arrays with abundant cross Bridgess whereas the M1 isoform appears to curtail square array assembly ( 10 ) . Recent experiments have shown that add-on of NMO-IgG to AQP4 showing cells have resulted in redness ( 6 ) and this is now the current point of involvement.

The immune system

The innate and adaptative immune system

The immune system is described as a aggregation of mechanisms inside an being which protect against disease by placing and extinguishing a diverse figure of pathogens ( 34 ) The human organic structure ‘s immune system is grouped into two chief classs, the innate and the adaptative immune system. Whilst they are grouped they work together and rely on one another to work in unison and supply maximal protection for the human organic structure ( 14 ) . The innate immune system is antigen non-specific and has a rapid response ( 14 ) . It is the organic structures first line of defense mechanism.

Included in the innate immune system are all the organic structure ‘s natural barriers, phaygocytes and complement among others ( 14 ) . The adaptative immune system on the other manus is far more antigen particular but has a much slower response of yearss. The adaptative immune system chiefly utilises B and T cells as its chief immune constituents along with antibodies.


Antidbody Structure and map

One mechanism of the adaptative immune system is the usage of antibodies. These belong to the Ig ( Ig ) super household. ( 14 ) They consist of 2 upper visible radiation ironss and 2 heavy ironss ( figure 4 ) .

Depending on their isoform they can be found on the surface of cells or go arounding freely within the blood vass. Immunoglobulins are produced from mature B cells and come in the undermentioned isoforms, IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG and IgM and each isotope is farther divided into subclasses. They are distinguished by differences in their changeless heavy concatenation parts.

This is thought to give each isoform its different biological map, with fluctuation in the lighter upper ironss ensuing in different antigenic determinant specificity. When a B cell matures it will get down to bring forth different antibodies depending on the stimulation which caused it to maturate ( 14 ) .

Immunoglobulin g

The chief Ig isotype we shall discourse is IgG.

It is secreted out of the cell and every bit present in intra and excess vascular surfaces. ( 14 ) It has the highest half life of all the Ig molecules with an mean life span of 23 yearss. Furthermore IgG is the lone antibody which can go through through the placenta to the foetus giving unsusceptibility for first hebdomads of life. ( 14 ) The chief mechanisms by which IgG works is via opsonisation and activation of the complement system. When an antibody detects a pathogen of right specificity it binds to it with the FAB parts of the visible radiation ironss. This leaves the lower heavy Fc part lodging out. Macrophages have receptors which can observe the Fc part and will steep anything attached to that antibody. This is called opsonisation and comes from the Greek opsonin which means to fix for feeding.

( 14 ) Furthermore one time an antibody is bound both to an antigen and a scavenger cell it activates the scavenger cells and causes release of Interleukins and cytokines, which mediate an inflammatory response. This is thought to be the cause of redness seen around the site of lesions in NMO patients.Figure 4: Conventional demoing the construction of different Ig molecules ( 34 ) .


Another manner in which antibodies protect the human organic structure from disease is by triping complement.

The complement system is a set of 20 or so proteins go arounding in the blood. It can be activated via three tracts, the surrogate tract, the lectin tract and the classical tract. Finally all the tracts converge but the induction is different. Immunoglobulins are first-class triggers of the classical tract. It was named so as it was the first of the 3 tracts to be discovered. ( 14 ) The chief proteins are called C1 through to C9, the Numberss do non denote order of activation instead the order in which they were discovered. When two IgG molecules are bound to an antigen they cause C1 to split C3 and therefore get down the cascade. The following composite will ensue in the cleavage of the following composite with most adhering to the pathogens surface.

Once C9 is reached a membrane onslaught composite ( MAC ) is formed ( figure 4 ) . This literally punctures the surface of the pathogen and causes lysis. ( 14 ) Again it is this lytic map which is thought to be the cause of lesions and demyelination.Figure 4: Diagram shows the lineations of the 3 different tracts taken in triping complement get downing from acknowledgment and stoping in lysis ( 35 ) .


Isolating the IgG from the serum of patients.

The Serum used in this experiment was obtained from five different patients labelled P1 through to P5. Each patient had an established diagnosing of NMO and was besides diagnosed with a strong AQP4-Ab serum positiveness.

We used three different pooled non-NMO control sera labelled C1 to C3 consequently. We termed IgGNMO as the entire IgG isolated from the serum of NMO patients ( that contains AQP4-Ab ) and IgGCON as the entire IgG isolated from the serum of non-NMO participants.

Human complement

Non-haemolysed blood was collected from homo in a field glass tubing. This was so allowed to coagulate at room temperature, about 25oc, for 30 min. The samples were so centrifuged at 1,000 r.

p.m. The serum supernatant was so collected, aliquoted and stored at -80 0C, until required. When serum is collected in this mode it preserves complement activity, and is termed human ( hC ) .

Cell civilization

The CHO cells we used where of the K1 variey. They where transfected with plasmids encoding M23 AQP4.

These cells were termed ( CHO-AQP1 ) . They were so grown on coverslips in F12 medium ( Ham mixture ) with 10 % FBS ( Invitrogen, Paisley, UK ) . More than 95 % of cells expressed the several proteins in their plasma membranes.


The CHO cells showing AQP1 and AQP4 were so washed in PBS and so fixed in 4 % impersonal buffered methanal ( Sigma, Poole, UK ) for 5 proceedingss. We so added coney anti-AQP1 ( 1:200, Chemicon-Millipore, Livingstone, UK ) or rabbit anti-AQP4 ( 1:200, Chemicon-Millipore, Livingstone, UK ) primary antibody severally and incubated them for 1 H at 25 0C.

The Cells were so washed with PBS and incubated with AlexaFluor-linked caprine animal anti-rabbit secondary antibody ( 1:200, Invitrogen, Paisley, UK ) . For AQP4 immunostaining with IgGNMO, unrecorded cells were washed with PBS, exposed to IgGNMO ( 1:200,15 min, 4 0C in PBS + 5 millimeter dextroglucose ) , washed with PBS, post-fixed in 4 % impersonal buffered methanal ( Sigma, Poole, UK ) , washed with PBS and incubated with Texas-red-linked anti-human IgG secondary antibody ( Vector Laboratories, Peterborough, UK ) . After secondary antibody incubation, the coverslips were washed with PBS and mounted in Aquamount medium with DAPI ( Vector Laboratories, Peterborough, UK ) . Coverslips were examined utilizing a BX-51 Olympus epifluorescence microscope.

Complement activation and cell viability checks:

CHO cells on coverslips were exposed at 37 0C to F12 medium without serum containing ( by vol. ) 5 % IgGNMO or IgGCON and 5 % hC. After 2 h the cells were stained with a LIVE/DEAD® cell viability kit ( Molecular Probes – Invitrogen, Paisley, UK ) harmonizing to the maker ‘s instructions. Live cells stain fluorescent green and dead cells with damaged plasma membranes stain fuorescent ruddy.

Coverslips were examined utilizing a BX-51 Olympus epifluorescence microscope and the figure of ruddy and green cells were counted.Consequences:The cells where foremost stained utilizing Texas-red and DAPI to demo the effects of the different conditions on the different cells and how the controls would look.AQP4 red+blue1aqp1 ruddy and bluish 1Figure: AQP1 ( left ) and AQP4 ( right ) visualised utilizing Texas-red-linked anti human IgG and DAPI which stained cell karyon.ConIgG_AQP2 red+blue1ConiggAQP4red+blue2Figure: Live cells showing AQP1, ( left ) and AQP4, ( right ) incubated with control IgG and stained with Texas-red-linked anti human IgG and DAPI which stained cell karyon.NMOIgGAQP1blue+red1NMOIgGAQP4red+blue3Figure: Live cells showing AQP1 ( left ) and AQP4 ( right ) incubated with NMO-IgG and stained with Texas-red-linked anti human IgG and DAPI which stained cell karyon.As mentioned above the cells where stained utilizing LIVE/DEAD® with healthy life cells fluorescing green and cells which were dead or had damaged cell membranes fluorescing ruddy. They were viewed under and microscope and the still images were taken. The cells where so counted up based on coloring material of fluorescence.

This information was put into a tabular array and statistically analysed.4. DiscussionNMO is a terrible autoimmune upset ( 4 ) . The pathogenesis is believed to be the formation of an Ig which attacks the AQP4 proteins on the surface of astrocytes ( 6 ) . Like most autoimmune upsets the exact mechanism is merely guess. The find of NMO-IgG by Lennon VA et Al.

2004, ( 24 ) has allowed more accurate sensing of NMO, but does non assist to explicate how the production of the Ig leads to deymylination. Recent theories put frontward have implicated the activation of complement in the disease ( 6 ) . Therefore this survey focuses on set uping a true connexion between NMO-IgG and the decease of cells showing AQP4, the most abundant AQP in the encephalon ( 11 ) .

This survey focused on happening marks of cell decease or harm in the cells which had been incubated with NMO-IgG from sera positive patients.

4.1 Interpretation and analysis of consequences

4.1.1 AQP4 showing CHO cells in the presence of Con-IgG and human complement.

This was the lone trial conducted with Con-IgG. The ground for this, which is explained in more item below, is that AQP1 cells showed no reaction in NMO-IgG conditions.

This status mimics a healthy individual, therefore utilizing the LIVE/DEAD kit we can see really little Numberss of cell decease. The highest recorded cell decease in any sample with these conditions was 16.30 % . This can be attributed to natural cell decease.

4.1.2 AQP1 showing CHO cells in the presence of NMO-IgG and human complement.

This experiment was conducted to see if NMO-IgG had any affects on AQP1 proteins. Current research all supports an AQP4 antibody and no experiments have implicated AQP1.Therefore as was expected there was no increased cell decease over the control utilizing AQP4.

This was besides the ground why no Con-IgG was used with AQP1 as it produced no consequences with NMO-IgG and hence would hold been a waste of clip and resources to besides make a control, which would necessarily come up space. As research had shown merely AQP4 was affected utilizing AQP1 in the survey was in kernel its ain control as it showed cell decease could merely be attributed to AQP4.


3 AQP4 showing CHO cells in the presence of NMO-IgG and human complement.

Research indicated that NMO-IgG marks AQP4 proteins and in bend causes deymylination. This was the intent of this survey to farther support this theory. In this sample the mean cell decease was 41.85 % . This is significantly higher than both the old experiments. This shows that there is a pronounced addition in cell decease in the presence of NMO-IgG in cells showing AQP4.

4.2 Controls

Due to clip and resource restraints there where many controls which could hold been used in this survey but where non. This does non discredit the consequences found but merely means that to come on the consequences further these controls would necessitate to be taken into history. By placing controls it non merely allows for better apprehension on how to develop the consequences but allows possible influences to be considered and evaluated.


1 M23 and M1 showing cells.

The first such was the usage of merely M23 AQP4 showing cells. The ground for this is that presently there is no available fluorescent antibody marker for the M1 isoform. In the human encephalon the two isoforms found are M1 and M23, with M23 being significantly more abundant ( 10 ) nevertheless the consequences are non expected to differ greatly as they appear to be functionally indistinguishable ( 10 ) although they where merely conducted in-vitro with no functionality tests done in-vivo.


3 In vivo survey

Whilst the consequences gathered are promoting in back uping the hypothesis that NMO-IgG can trip complement in vitro, it does non assist us to understand the effects in vivo. Astrocytes are know to be really immune to complement lysis as they contain many complement regulative proteins such as CD46, CD55 and CD59

4.4 General NMO

4.5 Decision

Therefore, AQP4 antibody is indispensable in the diagnosing and intervention of NMO